Research in this field is of utmost importance to control the spread of infectious agents and drug resistance

The impact on society of infectious diseases and immunity disorders is enormous. They are a major burden to human and animal health and the economy. Think of recent outbreaks of bird flu, the growing problem of resistant bacteria in hospitals, and the impact of foodborne illness and food safety issues on international trade. Research in this field is of utmost importance to control the spread of infectious agents and drug resistance. That is easier said than done, since we first have to know all about the infection chain – from molecule to population.

In the Infection & Immunity program, we try to discover how cells, individuals and populations become infected by micro-organisms. How do micro-organisms replicate and spread? How does the immune system respond to virulent invaders (pathogens), and vice versa? We hope to develop new scientific strategies for the prevention and cure of (re)emerging infections and chronic inflammatory diseases that challenge animal and human health. In Utrecht, a combination of experts in human, veterinary and environmental health work together to achieve these goals. For a detailed program outline, key publications and contact information see our program outline.

It often astonishes me that we aren't suffering from diseases much more often, knowing that we come into contact with micro-organisms all the time. Our immune system operates unnoticed.