University Medical Centre Utrecht

Professor Dr. Suzan Rooijakkers

The goal of the research of Suzan Rooijakkers is to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial killing by the human immune system. In particular, she investigates the molecular functioning of the complement system, a large protein network in plasma that plays an essential role in the immune response against all invading bacteria. Other projects in the lab involve unravelling processes underlying complement-mediated phagocytosis.

Professor Dr. Jürgen Kuball

The Laboratory of Translational Immunology within the tumor immunology group at UMCU are focused on unraveling the mechanisms of how the human immune system protects us from developing cancer, understanding innate immune cells and their receptors and virally infected cells. The research group are also focused on developing novel therapies, genetic transplant engineering, and the generation of remedies for patients suffering from malignancies.

Associate Professor Zsolt Sebestyén

The Research group focuses on the molecular mechanisms of innate T cell and tumour cell interactions. As part of  Tumorimmunology the group also specilaises in understanding the mechanisms of how the human immune system protects us from developing cancer, understanding innate immune cells and their receptors and virally infected cells. The research group are also focused on developing novel therapies, genetic transplant engineering, and the generation of remedies for patients suffering from malignancies.

Associate Professor J.W.H. (Jeanette) Leusen

As Head of the  Laboratory of Translational Immunology Research, Jeanette Leusen's research group studies the working mechanisms of therapeutic antibodies and the biology of Fc receptors. As a therapy for cancer, monoclonal antibodies are used that specifically target tumor cells.

Associate Professor Nina van Sorge

As part of the Bacterial Infections and Immunity group at the University Medical centre in Utrecht, Nina van Sorges' research group is involved in bacterical glycobiology, more specifically on infections caused by two important human pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus and Group A Streptococcus.

Postdoctoral Fellow Domenico Fasci PhD.

Domenico Fasci is involved in one of the three showcase projects related to the UMI Hub. This project will identify ligands of γδ TCR receptors targeting cancer cells, and the the role they play in attacking leukemic blasts. It will merge state of the art mass spectrometry methods with T cell engineering technologies. Protein – protein interactions will be studied by structural biology such as cyro-electron tomography and solid state NMR.

This project is a collaborative effort with the group of prof. dr. Albert Heck.

Postdoctioral Fellow Dani Heesterbeek

Dani Heesterbeek is the new postdoc employed to work on the development of Therapeutic antibodies against Klebsiella pneumoniae, under the direction of prof.dr. Suzan Rooijakers.

Dani's showcase 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 prof. dr. Friedrich Förster (techniques include: EM, structural biology, computational modelling) and prof. dr.Piet Gros ( X-ray crystallography, EM, Biophysical characterisation).