Monika (M. C.) Wolkers PhD


1993-1998 Medical Biology, University of Amsterdam, MSc


Dissection of spontaneous and therapy-induced T cell immunity in mice
3 October 2003
The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam
Supervisor: Ton Schumacher

Research interests

We study:

1) how efficient T cell responses are established
2) how a memory T cell is kept in a (semi)-active state on a molecular level
3) how Antigen Presenting Cells (APCs) are activated upon bacterial and viral encounter on a molecular level


Cell cultures, retroviral and lentiviral transductions of T cells and APCs, Flow cytometry, protein and mRNA analysis, in vitro and in vivo studies of immune responses


May 2015
Associate professor, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam
October 2010- present Group leader at Department of Hematopoeisis, Sanquin, Amsterdam
2007-2010 Research Scientist at Center of Experimental Molecular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam
2005-2007 Postdoc at Department of Cellular Immunology, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla (USA)
2003-2004 Postdoc Department of Immunology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam
1998-2003 PhD student Department of Immunology Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam
1993-1998 MSc Medical Biology, University of Amsterdam

Other publications

Balzarolo M, Watzl C, Medema JP, Wolkers MC. NAB2 and EGR-1 exert opposite roles in regulating TRAIL expression in human Natural Killer cells. Immunol Lett 2013; 151(1-2):61-67.

Karrich JJ, Jachimowski LC, Nagasawa M, Kamp A, Balzarolo M, Wolkers MC, Uittenbogaart CH, van Ham SM, Blom B. IL-21 stimulated human plasmacytoid dendritic cells secrete Granzyme B, which impairs their capacity to induce T cell proliferation. Blood 2013; 121(16):3103-3111.

Balzarolo M, Karrich JJ, Engels S, Blom B, Medema JP, Wolkers MC. The transcriptional regulator NAB2 reveals a two-step induction of TRAIL in activated plasmacytoid DCs. Eur J Immunol 2012; 423019-3027.

Karrich JJ, Balzarolo M, Schmidlin H, Libouban M, Nagasawa M, Gentek R, Kamihira S, Maeda T, Amsen D, Wolkers MC, Blom B. The transcription factor Spi-B regulates human plasmacytoid dendritic cell survival through direct induction of the anti-apoptotic gene BCL2-A1. Blood 2012; 119(22):5191-5200.

Wolkers MC, Gerlach C, Arens R, Janssen EM, Fitzgerald P, Schumacher TN, Medema JP, Green DR, Schoenberger SP. Nab2 regulates secondary CD8+ T-cell responses through control of TRAIL expression. Blood 2012; 119(3):798-804.

Wolkers MC, Bensinger SJ, Green DR, Schoenberger SP, Janssen EM. Interleukin-2 rescues helpless effector CD8+ T cells by diminishing the susceptibility to TRAIL mediated death. Immunol Lett 2011; 139(1-2):25-32.

Bins AD, Wolkers MC, van den Boom MD, Haanen JB, Schumacher TN. In vivo antigen stability affects DNA vaccine immunogenicity. J Immunol 2007; 179(4):2126-33.

De Witte MA, Toebes M, Song JY, Wolkers MC, Schumacher TN. Effective graft depletion of MiHAg T-cell specificities and consequences for graft-versus-host disease. Blood 2007; 109(9):3830-8.

De Witte MA, Coccoris M, Wolkers MC, van den Boom MD, Mesman EM, Song JY, van der Valk M, Haanen JB, Schumacher TN. Targeting self-antigens through allogeneic TCR gene transfer. Blood 2006; 108(3):870-7.

Hamilton SE, Wolkers MC, Schoenberger SP, Jameson SC. The generation of protective memory-like CD8+ T cells during homeostatic proliferation requires CD4+ T cells. Nat Immunol 2006; 7(5):475-81.

Bins AD, Jorritsma A, Wolkers MC, Hung CF, Wu TC, Schumacher TN, Haanen JB. A rapid and potent DNA vaccination strategy defined by in vivo monitoring of antigen expression. Nat Med 2005; 11(8):899-904.

Kessels HW, Wolkers MC, Schumacher TN. Gene transfer of MHC-restricted receptors. Methods Mol Med 2005; 109:201-14.

Wolkers MC, Brouwenstijn N, Bakker AH, Toebes M, Schumacher TN. Antigen bias in T cell cross-priming. Science 2004; 304(5675):1314-7.

Kessels HW, Wolkers MC, Schumacher TN. Adoptive transfer of T-cell immunity. Trends Immunol 2002; 23(5):264-9.

Wolkers MC, Toebes M, Okabe M, Haanen JB, Schumacher TN. Optimizing the efficacy of epitope-directed DNA vaccination. J Immunol 2002; 168(10):4998-5004.

Kessels HW, Wolkers MC, van den Boom MD, van der Valk MA, Schumacher TN. Immunotherapy through TCR gene transfer. Nat Immunol 2001; 2(10):957-61.

Wolkers MC, Stoetter G, Vyth-Dreese FA, Schumacher TN.Redundancy of direct priming and cross-priming in tumor-specific CD8+ T cell responses. J Immunol 2001; 167(7):3577-84.

Haanen JB, Wolkers MC, Kruisbeek AM, Schumacher TN. Selective expansion of cross-reactive CD8(+) memory T cells by viral variants. J Exp Med 1999; 190(9):1319-28.

Haanen JB, Toebes M, Cordaro TA, Wolkers MC, Kruisbeek AM, Schumacher TN. Systemic T cell expansion during localized viral infection. Eur J Immunol 1999; 29(4):1168-74.

Boxman IL, Berkhout RJ, Mulder LH, Wolkers MC, Bouwes Bavinck JN, Vermeer BJ, ter Schegget J. Detection of human papillomavirus DNA in plucked hairs from renal transplant recipients and healthy volunteers. J Invest Dermatol 1997; 108(5):712-5.