Anja (J. A.) ten Brinke PhD


Biochemistry and Cell biology


'Palmitoylation of the surfactant protein C precursor'
University of Utrecht.

Research interests

Immune modulation and antigen-specific Immunomonitoring

Our research focusses on the regulation of T cell-dependent B cell responses and formation of high affinity IgG antibodies in human. The cues controlling the actual process of B cell differentiation into IgG-producing plasma cells are largely unknown. We investigate how B cell differentiation into IgG-secreting plasma cells is regulated by antigen and specific signals from follicular Thelper cells. Identification of early markers of B cell differentiation is much desired to intervene early in generation of undesired antibodies in transfusion (alloimmunisation), biologics therapy (anti-drug antibodies) and autoimmunity/leukaemia (autoantibodies). In addition, it may aid to optimize vaccination protocols.

Another focus of our research is the modulation of immune responses by blood products.. Currently, we study the regulation of DC and B cell function by platelets, since platelets are increasingly acknowledged for their role in modulating immune responses.

Finally, we specialize in monitoring the effects of immunomodulatory therapies on the immune system. We specifically focus on the analysis of antigen-specific immune responses, mainly CD4+ T cells and B cells, as the function of these cells is crucial for the efficacy of immunotherapeutic approaches such as vaccinations or tolerizing therapies.

Our research is linked to Sanquins’ medical needs Immunodeficiency and Aging, Vascular Diseases and Inflammation and Anemia. See also Antigen Specific B cell responses 


  • Primary cell culture
  • Multi-colour Flow cytometry (phenotype and function) and unsupervised analyses
  • T cell assays
  • Antigen-specific CD4 T cell priming and recall analyses
  • APC – T cell cultures
  • B cell cultures (both T-cell dependent and –independent)
  • Cytokine and antibody analyses
  • Single cell RNA seq analysesBCR/TCR clonality analyses



Project coordinator and scientific advisor Immunomonitoring Services, Sanquin Diagnostics B.V., Amsterdam


Group leader at Dept of Immunopathology, subgroup Immune modulation and immunomonitoring at Sanquin Research, Amsterdam


Senior scientist at Dept of Immunopathology, DC group at Sanquin Research, Amsterdam


Post-doc at Dept of Immunopathology, subgroup Immune Regulation at Sanquin Research, Amsterdam


Post-doc at the Dept of Immunopathology, subgroup Autoimmune diseases at Sanquin Research, Amsterdam


PhD student at Dept of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Utrecht


Study Medical Biology at the University of Utrecht