LMCB - MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology


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.


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


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


NWO Rubicon Postdoctoral Fellowship

Research Themes

Signalling pathways, Cell-cell interactions


Light microscopy