Prof Marieke (S. M.) van Ham PhD


Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Amsterdam


Genetic and functional studies of Haemophilus influenzae fimbriae 1994 - University of Amsterdam  and Max-Planck-Institute for Biology (Germany) 

Research interests

We investigate in human how B cell differentiation into IgG-secreting plasma cells (PC) is regulated by antigen and specific signals from follicular Thelper cells. We identified the first known linear Bn->PC differentiation pathway in vitro using scRNAseq and now focus on novel cell surface differentiation markers and unknown regulators that identify the various stages of B cell to plasma cell formation in vitro and in vivo. We use big data analyses and systems biology to unravel integrated networks of immune regulation. This knowledge is important to prevent alloantibody formation (RhD and sickle cell disease), to intervene against autoantibodies in autoimmune diseases (MS/vasculitis/pemphigus/SLE/RA) or to understand occurrence of humoral immunodeficiencies. In addition, it may aid to optimise Sanquin’s hyperimmunization protocols to generate specific immunoglobulins (RhD/HepA/TT) and vaccination protocols in general. Our research is linked to Sanquins’ medical needs Immunodeficiency and Aging, Vascular Diseases and Inflammation and Anemia. See also Antigen specific B cell responses



  • B cell differentiation assays (both T cell-dependent and –independent)
  • Single cell and bulk RNA sequencing technology
  • CRISPR-Cas9 technology in primary B cells
  • BCR/TCR clonality analyses
  • Antigen-specific CD4+ T cell priming and recall analyses
  • Identification of T cell epitopes
  • Antibody assays
  • Multi-color flow cytometry (phenotype and function)
  • Imagestream and confocal analyses





Board member Dutch Society for Immunology (NVVI) and President of 5th European Congress of Immunology (2018)


Professor of Biological Immunology, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam,


Head department of Immunopathology, Sanquin, Amsterdam


Group leader, department of Immunopathology, Sanquin, Amsterdam


Assistant and Associate Professor, Head Unit Experimental Oncopathology, Free University Medical Center


Postdoc, division of Tumor Biology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam (group. J.J. Neefjes)


Scientific staff member, Human Immunogenetics Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, United Kingdom

Other activities

  • Responsible for Immunology Curriculum Bachelor Biomedical Sciences and Master of Life Sciences.
  • Coordinator/lecturer Immunology courses, 2nd-3rd year medical students, Faculty of Medicine, Anton de Kom University (AdeKU), Suriname
  • Ad hoc speaker and advisor for general public about topics concerning functioning of immune system and/or vaccination.