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Januari 2019, 4th edition


A recent Nature Communications paper about brain-resident memory T cells by Joost Smolders (Canisius-Wilhelmina Ziekenhuis, Nijmegen)and Jörg Hamann(Experimental Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. AMC) was picked up by newspaper De Telegraaf. Also the December issue of AMC Magazine will report about this first comprehensive analysis of T cells in the human brain, performed in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience. 

BNR Gezond  radio interview with Dasha Pajkrt(Paediatrics, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC) and Katja Wolters(Microbiology, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC) about organoid technology that was recently broadcasted:

KWF researcher of the week: Marjolein van Egmond(Surgery, Amsterdam UMC, loc.VUmc)  More information

Bechterew's disease is poorly recognized in women. Diseases are often different for women than for men, but doctors are not always aware of this. Irene van der Horst-Bruinsma(Rheumatology, Amsterdam UMC, VUmc) wants to change that.More information

AI&II grants

  • AI&II Postdoc stipends 2019 
  • For 2019 AI&II is planning a work visit grant for technicians! More information will follow
  • Vanessa Harris(loc. AMC), Jesper Kers(loc. AMC) and Charlotte Rodrigues Neves(loc. VUmc) were awarded the AI&II Work Visit grant 2018, 2ndround (max. € 5.000).
Vanessa Harris (loc. AMC), Jesper Kers (loc. AMC) and Charlotte Rodrigues Neves (loc. VUmc) were awarded the AI&II Work Visit grant 2018, 2ndround

Het Hersentumorfonds kende onlangs twee beurzen toe aan onderzoekers van Amsterdam UMC die onderzoek doen naar glioblastoom en dan speciaal gericht op immuuntherapieMeer info.

For 2019 AI&II is planning a work visit grant for technicians! More information will follow.

Marit van Gils (Medical Microbiology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. AMC) and Carla Ribeiro (Experimental Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. AMC) have been appointed as members of the Amsterdam Young Academy. On November 6ththe Amsterdam Young Academy (AYA) was officially launched as a new platform for talented young scientists from Amsterdam. The AYA brings together thirty talented young scientists from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). AYA is an independent platform in which excellent researchers and lecturers from different disciplines meet to develop, among other things, visions on science and science policy.
AYA also offers its members opportunities for interdisciplinary research and to build bridges between science and the city of Amsterdam.

Rosalie S.N. Linssen (MD MSc) received an AMC PhD Scholarship (2018) and an European Respiratory Society (ERS) Long-Term International Fellowship for her PhD project at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Department of Clinical Virology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. AMC. Her project will focus on severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections in children and the role of neutrophil-extracellular trap-induced airway mucus obstruction in this disease. (Rosalie Linssen) 

Jan Piet van Hamburgand Sander W. Tas (Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. AMC) received a research grant (250kE) of ReumaNederland (formerly known as Reumafonds) for PhD student on research project: "The B cell lineage in ANCA-associated vasculitis: functional characterisation and targeting of NF-κB as a novel treatment modality" 

Jan van den Bossche (dept. Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. VUmc), Menno de Winther (dept. Medical Biochemistry, Amsterdam UMC, loc. AMC) and Michel van Weeghel (dept. Clinical Chemistry Amsterdam UMC, loc. AMC/VUMC) received an Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences (ACS) PhD grant. In this joint project they will study how ‘immunometabolites’ shape inflammatory macrophage responses and atherosclerosis progression. The vacancy is now online.

Sandra van Vliet (Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. VUmc) en Celso Reis (Porto, Portugal) received a PhD project of the Portugese FCT (the Portuguese national funding agency for science, research and technology) entitled: Glyco-Immune Checkpoint in Cancer: role of glycosylation in tumor immune response modulation.

Sue GibbsSander Spiekstra en Maaike Waasdorp (Molecular Cell biology and Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. VUmc) received a grant from De Nederlandse Brandwonden Stichting for the project: “Human saliva as potential therapeutic for treating burns”. 

Marta Lopez Gonzalez (Medical Oncology, VUmc), Reza Nadafi (Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, VUmc),Jeroen den Dunnen(Experimental Immunology, AMC) andLisette Krabbendam (Experimental Immunology, AMC) received a poster prize at the European Congress of Immunology.

Contacts for the VU/VUmc and AMC grant desks:
  • Personal grants: Depending on the employment institution of the applicant, the relevant office must be contacted, i.e. Grants Desk VU/VUmc (E: - personal grants only) or AMC Research Office (E:
  • Collaborative projects: Depending on the legal entity registered in the application (AMC, VUmc or VU), applicants are advised to inform their respective research support offices to enter the support trajectory, i.e. Grants Desk VU/VUmc (E: or AMC Research Office (E:
Search for grants at and register with your AMC or VU / VUmc e-mail address.
On September 20ththe sad news reached us that our beloved colleague I Putu Yuda Hananta past away after a short sickbed in Karanganyar, indonesia. Yuda started his PhD programme in 2012 at the department of Infectious Diseases of the Amsterdam Public Health Sevice (GGD Amsterdam). He finalised his thesis in the early summer of this year and his work was accepted for his defence that was planned for October 24th. It was a wish of his family to have Yuda granted his doctorate title posthumously. The college of promotions of the University of Amsterdam subsequently decided to honour this wish. For this occasion a short ceremony was held on December 3rd at 14:00 hrs at the Agenietenkapel. Promotores are Prof. dr. H.J.C. de Vries (AMC-UvA) and Prof. dr. H. Soebono and co-promotores are dr. A.P. van Dam (AMC-UvA) and dr. M.F. Schim van der Loeff (AMC-UvA). Summary thesis.

Xiaolin Zhang (Medical Microbiology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. AMC) has defended his PhD thesis titled: “The Zebrafish Embryo as a New Model for Biomaterial-Associated Infection and Novel Treatment Strategies” on December 7 at the Agnietenkapel. Promotor: prof. dr. M.D. de Jong, Co-promotors: prof. dr. D.W. Grijpma and dr. S.A.J. Zaat. Agnietenkapel.

Joëlle van den Hoek (Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Amsterdam UMC, loc. AMC)  has defended her PhD thesis “Langetermijn-gevolgen reumatoïde artritis en comorbiditeit”, on December 15, Agnietenkapel, 14:00 hrs. Promotor: prof.dr. G.A.M. van den Bos en Prof.dr. J. Dekker, co-promotores: dr. L.D. Roorda en prof.dr. H.C. Boshuizen.

Chrissta Maracle (Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. AMC) has defended her PhD thesis titled "NF-κB signaling in endothelial cells: identification of NIK as a therapeutic target” on December 19, 2018 at the Aula University of Amsterdam. Promotor: Prof. Dominique Baeten, co-promotor: Dr. Sander W. Tas. 

Stefan Bruijnen (Rheumatology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. VUmc) will defend his PhD thesis titled: Positron Emission Tomography for early diagnosis and therapy monitoring of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis on January 18, 2019 at the VU (9:45 hrs). Promotors: prof.dr.A.E. Voskuyl, prof. Dr. O.S. Hoekstra; co-promotor: Dr. J. van der Laken.

Zongliang Gao(Medical Microbiology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. AMC) will defend his PhD thesis titled: “Optimized expression of small therapeutic RNAs” on Wednesday March 20 2019, 12:00 hrs.Promotor: prof. dr. B. Berkhout, Co-promotor: dr. E. Herrera Carrillo. Agnietenkapel, University of Amsterdam.

Please visit our website for more information about PhD ceremonies.
6 June: AI&II Annual meeting 2019 
  • On Friday 2 November 2018, the Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology of location AMC and Rheumatology of location VUmc merged. Together they form the new Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunologyof Amsterdam UMC. More information: here.
  • Postgraduate course Advanced Immunology, 4-15 February 2019, 1st week: Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, 2ndweek: Sanquin, Amsterdam. More information and registration: here.
  • European Congress of Virology, 28 April - 1 May 2019 in Rotterdam. More information and registration: here.
Please our website visit for more information about Events.


Kelly Boelaars started as a PhD student in the lab of Prof. Yvette van Kooyk at the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. VUmc. For the coming 4 years she will investigate immune suppressive signatures in the tumour-microenvironment of Pancreas Adenocarcinoma.


Fabrizio Chiodo joined the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology(Amsterdam UMC, loc. VUmc) from 1stNovember supported by an AI&II postdoc stipend. He is an Italian carbohydrate-scientist working at the interface between chemistry and immunology. This venilaureate worked simultaneously at LUMC and the Leiden Institute of Chemistry before he joined Amsterdam UMC to work on his AI&II project “Revealing bacterial carbohydrate-responses exploring gold-nanoparticles from skin models to mass-cytometry” he will try to answer important questions in the field of carbohydrate-immunology and carbohydrate-based vaccines. Fabrizio explores chemical multivalent and multifunctional tools (like gold nanoparticles) to interrogate adaptive and innate responses triggered by carbohydrates (especially the bacterial ones) also for carbohydrate-based vaccines . 

Hlalia Masrati, short Lia, is a new guest PhD student who will be working with the group of Reina Mebius (Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, loc. VUmc). She is a bioresearch bachelor from Inholland who will be around until May 2019. She’ll be working on liver inflammation and adhesion molecules like MAdCAM-1 in autoimmune hepatitis patients.

As of October 2018, Vidhya Narayan started her PhD in the group of Prof. dr. R.M. Luiten and dr. A. Wolkerstorfer at the Department of Dermatology/Netherlands Institute for Pigment Disorders (Amsterdam UMC, loc. AMC). Her research project aims to assess whether early biomarkers can predict the clinical response to vitiligo treatment. Results of this study could be important to identify non-responders at an early stage and could contribute to the knowledge on the pathogenesis of vitiligo.

Catarina Veloso Gago da Graca started her PhD in the group of Prof.dr. R. Mebuis at the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology (Amsterdam UMC, loc. VUmc) in September 

Caroline Vilas Boas de Melo works as a guest PhD student at Reina Mebius’s group at the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology (Amsterdam UMC, loc. VUmc). She studies the role of the spleen in the progression of Visceral Leishmaniasis, in which she attempts to characterize cell subsets and genes potentially involved with the lymphoid tissue disruption, observed in severe cases of the disease.
Dr Sergey Nejentsevwas appointed professor of Translational Immunology at the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology (Amsterdam UMC, loc. VUmc). Dr Nejentsev studies genetic and functional mechanisms of susceptibility to infection, focusing on primary immune deficiencies and tuberculosis. Previously, his laboratory at the University of Cambridge discovered multiple novel primary immune deficiencies, including the Activated PI3 kinase Delta Syndrome (APDS). 

Prof dr Irene van der Horst-Bruinsma, department Rheumatology (Amsterdam UMC, loc. VUmc) gave her inaugural speech 28 November “ Adam is not Eve”’.
Hora Finita for VU and VUmc PhD candidates.The PhD registration system Hora Finita has been introduced at VU and VUmc. All PhD candidates have to register their project and supervisors, and build a portfolio in the system. If you have questions about this, contact: AI&  
Does your temporary contact end in 2019? Prepare for the next career step now! Do you have a strong preference to pursue your career outside academia? Would you like to explore your options but do not know where to start or how to narrow down to the ones that suit you? Do you want to learn how to increase your professional attractiveness to non-academic employers?

A successfull transition out of academia requires solid preparation. How can you make yourself professionally attractive outside academia. The PCDI course Employability outside Academia is developed to support you in this preparative phase. Take part into the upcoming edition of this 3x 1 full-day course on 28 January  - 18 February - 18March in central Utrecht. For detailed information about the course programme and how to fund your participation, please visit the PCDI website  Maximum number of participants is limited to 18, so be quick to avoid disappointment and register now.

AI&II Postdoc stipends 2019. More information: here.
  • Update your personal PURE page: All researchers at Amsterdam UMC are requested to update their PURE profile pages. If you do not quite know how to do this, watch this clipfor tips and inspiration.
  • Visit the website. Visit the AI&II websitefor the latest updates. If you have any news, get in touch by mail: info@amsterdam-infection-and–
  • We highly appreciate your input and welcome any news to make this newsletter more informative. Please email your contact as a word file with separate photo’s or illustrations as JPEG files to The AI&II newsletter will appear four times a year.
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