Regulation of effector T cells


We have a longstanding and successful interest in unraveling the processes that drive the differentiation of human virus-specific (CD8+) T-cells. Initially our studies have been centered on T- cells that can be obtained from the peripheral blood. In a unique collaboration with the transplant group at AMC (I ten Berge), longitudinal analyses including characterization of phenotype, function and transcriptome have been performed. Following these studies in humans, the biological importance of selected molecules was analyzed in vivo, in genetically modified mice. One of the molecules, e.g. Hobit, that we found to be specifically upregulated in human cytolytic and hCMV-specific CD8+ T-cells turned out to be a master regulator of murine NKT-cells and Trm formation. The two lines briefly described above converge in the third line of the laboratory, the characterization of Trm in human tissue. These studies started a decade ago with human lung material and have been extended now to lymph nodes, liver, kidney, gut and brain.

Medical needs:



  • PPORea (internal funding in competition)
  • ZonMw Netherlands medical research council
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (foundation to support German researchers abroad)

Our research