Prof Derk (D.) Amsen PhD


Immunology, Molecular Biology and Mouse Genetics

Research interests

The ability of T cells to recognize transplantation antigens constitutes a hurdle in all cellular transplantation processes, including transplantation of blood. On the other hand, harnessing this property also provides opportunities, for instance in stem cell therapy of leukemia patients, where T cells included in the graft destroy residual tumor cells. As the immune system primarily evolved to protect us from microbial invasion, we make use of microbial infection models to unravel the molecular pathways governing the functions of both CD4 and CD8 T cells. We employ the genetic power of mouse models to acquire fundamental insights into such questions as: how do T cells differentiate into effector cells that control the generation of antibodies? How are potent cytolytic T cells generated? What is the molecular basis for the development of immunological memory? We aim to translate such fundamental insights for the improvement of human therapies involving T cell transplantation.


  • Viral infection models
  • In vivo monitoring and manipulation of immune responses
  • Retroviral and Lentiviral expression systems
  • Mouse transgenesis


2023-present Professor of Molecular T-cell Immunology, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, University of Amsterdam 
2013-present Group Leader at Sanquin Research, Amsterdam
2006-2012 Group Leader at the Department of Cell Biology, AMC Amsterdam
2004-2006 Associate research Scientist, Section of Immunobiology, Yale University (Chief: Richard Flavell)
1998-2004 Postdoctoral Associate, Section of Immunobiology, Yale University (Chief: Richard Flavell)
1993-1998 PhD, Department of Immunobiology, Netherlands Cancer Institute