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LMCB - MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology

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Research Synopsis

During the immune response, the lymph node functions as communication and activation centre for immune cells. Dendritic cells (DCs) that encounter a virus or bacterium migrate to the lymph node to activate T cells which will fight the infection. Within the lymph node, specialized fibroblasts – fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) – form a cellular network facilitating migration and interaction of DCs and T cells. DC migration along FRCs depends on interaction of C-type lectin-like receptor 2 (CLEC-2) on DCs with podoplanin (PDPN) on FRCs. Simultaneously, this interaction results in elongation of FRCs allowing lymph node expansion. This is essential for T cell infiltration and proliferation in the lymph node. My research focuses on the molecular mechanisms and downstream signalling underlying PDPN activation. Furthermore, I will explore how the interaction between DCs and FRCs orchestrates the adaptive immune response. This project will significantly broaden our understanding of the immunoregulatory role of FRCs upon infection.

Biography

2016 | PhD, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Nijmegen, NL
2012 | Master Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, NL
2009 | Bachelor Molecular Life Sciences, Maastricht University, Maastricht, NL
 

Awards

2018 | EFIS-Biolegend Bright Sparks Award, European Federation of Immunological Societies, 5th European Congress of Immunology, Amsterdam, NL
2018 | BSI Travel Grant, 5th European Congress of Immunology 2018, Amsterdam, NL
2018 | EFIS-EJI Travel Grant, 5th European Congress of Immunology 2018, Amsterdam, NL
2018 | Travel Award, 9th International Research Conference on Tetraspanins, Arizona, USA
2017 | BSI Travel Grant, British Society for Immunology Congress 2017, UK
2017 | RIMLS Breakthrough Paper of 2016, de Winde et al, J Clin Invest 2016
2016 | Poster prize, Joint BSI & NVVI Congress
2016 | RIMLS Travel Grant, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Nijmegen, NL
2016 | Erasmus+ Staff Mobility Grant, Radboud University, Nijmegen, NL
2015 | Radboud Internationalisation Grant for Outgoing PhD candidates, Radboud University, Nijmegen, NL
2015 | NIH R13 Travel Scholarship
2014 | Bright Spark in Immunology (selected out of 74 applicants), Dutch Society for Immunology
 

Funders

NWO Rubicon Postdoctoral Fellowship

Research Themes

Signalling pathways, Cell-cell interactions

Technology

Light microscopy