Xander de Haan
“The better the vaccines, the better our protection against viruses”

Xander de Haan is an assistant professor in Virus-host interactions at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. He has been awarded a number of grants and prizes for his research, including the Beijerinck Premie (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) and a VIDI grant (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). He researches viruses and their interaction with cells at the molecular level. At the moment, De Haan's research includes looking at how flu viruses use their keys to unlock a host cell. He’s also researching how these viruses change those keys to gain access to both animals and humans.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to achieve my goal”

De Haan carries out both fundamental and more applied research. His research into how the influenza virus locks onto other cells and how it jumps from animals to humans – or adapts in such a way that it becomes a human rather than animal virus – also opens up new applications related to the development of antiviral drugs and better vaccines. The multidisciplinary nature of his work means that De Haan routinely collaborates with other scientists.