Bacterial Infections

The development of therapeutic antibodies against Klebsiella pneumoniae

Suzan Rooijakers
Prof. Suzan Rooijakkers

Team lead

Prof. Suzan Rooijakkers
Department of Medical Microbiology
UMC Utrecht

The research project will focus on the development of therapeutic antibodies that potently activate the complement system for the treatment of drug-resistant bacterial infections. Structural approaches and functional studies will help to elucidate mechanisms of potent antibodies, which can then be further optimized through engineering technology.

The project is is a collaborative effort with the group of Friedrich Foerster (techniques include: EM, structural biology, computational modelling) and Piet Gros ( X-ray crystallography, EM, Biophysical characterisation).


Dani Heesterbeek will carry out the postdoctoral research on the development of Therapeutic antibodies against Klebsiella pneumoniae, under the direction of Prof. Suzan Rooijakers. Dani obtained her Bachelor degree in Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University. She then went on to obtain her Master’s in Infection and Immunity at Utrecht University. In 2015, Dani started as a Ph.D. candidate in the group of Prof. Suzan Rooijakers at the UMC Utrecht, where she focused on the molecular mechanism with which the complement system, a large protein network in plasma, kills Gram-negative bacteria.