From 1996-2002 I studied Medical Biology at Utrecht University. For my Master degree I studied GGA protein function in the group of prof. Margaret Robinson at the University of Cambridge (United Kindom) and MHC class II sorting into Multi-vesicular bodies in the Laboratory of prof. Willem Stoorvogel at the UMC Utrecht. In the latter research group I continued my scientific training studying the mechanisms of formation, secretion and targeting of Dendritic cell (DC) and B cell exosomes. After receiving my doctorate in 2006 I moved to the department of tumor Immunology at the UMC St Radboud/ NCMLS to work as a postdoctoral scientist in the group of prof. Carl Figdor. Here I used mass spectrometry and transcriptome analysis to study the molecular dynamics of phagosomes, DCs and blood cells to learn more about the optimal application of dendritic cells in cancer immunotherapy. This work already resulted in several publications describing 1) the proteomes of DC phagosomes and 2) whole DCs, 3) Semaphorin 7A as a regulator of DC migration and 4) the construction of the LFA-1 interactome.
Late 2014 I continued my scientific career at the department of Gastroenterology to study antigen presentation in chronic hepatitis B (HBV) and HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma. My final goal is to develop antigen presentation-based immunotherapy to fight these deadly conditions for which currently only limited treatment options exist. For therapy design I now aim to apply my knowledge on DCs, antigen presentation and mass spectrometry study the presentation of (viral) antigens on dendritic cells and infected and transformed hepatocytes.