Inaugural lecture Timo van den Berg: All brakes off!

On 16 February 2018 professor Timo van den Berg will give his inaugural lecture. Van den Berg aims to improve therapeutic antibody therapy in cancer patients in order to reduce the need of non-specific agents such as chemotherapeutics. His group identified the “don’t eat me” CD47-SIRPalpha interactions as an innate immune checkpoint during antibody therapy in cancer. In collaboration with other parties van den Berg is developing new therapeutics to take the brakes off the immune system.

With his research group at Sanquin van den Berg is also exploring the basic cellular cytotoxic mechanisms by which neutrophils kill antibody-opsonized cancer cells. They have already demonstrated that neutrophils employ a unique, previously undescribed mechanism of tumor cell destruction, termed trogoptosis. Future research will explore this in further detail. This is also anticipated to be instrumental for identifying pathways and targets that can be exploited to improve antibody therapy against cancer.

Van den Berg is professor of Immunotherapy, especially the role of non-specific immunity in tumor reduction at the Vrije Universiteit and head of the Department of Blood Cell Research at Sanquin.