Prof René (R. A. W.) van Lier MD PhD


MD, University of Amsterdam


‘The Immunobiology of T cell Membrane Molecules’
1988 - University of Amsterdam

Research interests

The unifying theme of my research program is the regulation of effector/memory T cell formation in human and mice. The goals are to (1) identify functionally distinct T-cell subsets, (2) study the regulation of their specificity, expansion and effector functions, and (3) define their roles in normal and pathological immune reactions, e.g. (persistent) virus infections, allo-reactivity and immunodeficiency. Detailed knowledge on the regulation and manipulation of T cell immunity is necessary to improve the design of vaccines for infectious and malignant disease.


  • Flow cytometry and cell sorting
  • Micro array analysis
  • Quantitative PCR
  • Western blotting
  • T cell stimulation (in vitro and in vivo)
  • NKT cell analysis
  • Viral infection models in mice with LCMV, MCMV and Influenza virus


2010-present Member of the Executive Board of Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation/ Research Director
2007-2013 Chairman Dutch Society for Immunology (NVVI)
2006-2011 Chairman AMC Research Council (i.e. the AMC scientific advisory board)
2006-2010 Vice-chairman of the division of Laboratory Science, AMC
2001- 2010 Head of the Dept of Experimental Immunology, Academic Medical Centre (AMC), Amsterdam
2000-present Professor of Experimental Immunology, University of Amsterdam
1999-2000 Head of the Dept of Immunobiology, CLB, Amsterdam
1995-1999 Head of the laboratory for Cellular Immunology, Dept of Clinical Viro-Immunology, CLB (now Sanquin), Amsterdam
1990-1995 Fellow of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

Other activities

President European Federation of Immunological Societies
Chairman Scientific Advisory Board MS Research
Member of the Council of the International Union of Immunological Societies
Board member Immunovalley Foundation
Member Scientific Advisory Board Netherlands Lung Fund
Member of the supervisory board of BisLife

Other publications

Hertoghs KM, Moerland PD, van Stijn A, Remmerswaal EB, Yong SL, van de Berg PJ, van Ham SM, Baas F, ten Berge IJ, van Lier RA. Molecular profiling of cytomegalovirus-induced human CD8+ T cell differentiation. J Clin Invest 2010, 120:4077-90.

Wensveen FM, van Gisbergen KP, Derks IA, Gerlach C, Schumacher TN, van Lier RA, Eldering E. Apoptosis threshold set by Noxa and Mcl-1 after T cell activation regulates competitive selection of high-affinity clones. Immunity 2010; 32:754-65.

van de Berg PJ, Heutinck KM, Raabe R, Minnee RC, Young SL, van Donselaar-van der Pant KA, Bemelman FJ, van Lier RA, ten Berge IJ. Cytomegalovirus infection reduces telomere length of the circulating T cell pool. J Immunol 2010; 184:3417-23.

Kuijpers TW, Bende RJ, Baars PA, Grummels A, Derks IA, Dolman KM, Beaumont T, Tedder TF, van Noesel CJ, Eldering E, van Lier RA. CD20 deficiency in humans results in impaired T cell-independent antibody responses. J Clin Invest 2010; 120:214-22.

Nolte MA, van Olffen RW, van Gisbergen KP, van Lier RA. Timing and tuning of CD27-CD70 interactions: the impact of signal strength in setting the balance between adaptive responses and immunopathology. Immunol Rev 2009; 229:216-31.

van Leeuwen EM, Remmerswaal EB, Heemskerk MH, Ten B, I, van Lier RA. Strong selection of virus-specific cytotoxic CD4+ T-cell clones during primary human cytomegalovirus infection. Blood 2006;108:3121-7.

Alves NL, Derks IA, Berk E, Spijker R, van Lier RA, Eldering E. The Noxa/Mcl-1 axis regulates susceptibility to apoptosis under glucose limitation in dividing T cells. Immunity 2006; 24:703-16.

de Bree GJ, van Leeuwen EM, Out TA, Jansen HM, Jonkers RE, van Lier RA. Selective accumulation of differentiated CD8+ T cells specific for respiratory viruses in the human lung. J Exp Med 2005; 202:1433-42.

Nolte MA, Arens R, van Os R, van Oosterwijk M, Hooibrink B, van Lier RA, van Oers MH. Immune activation modulates hematopoiesis through interactions between CD27 and CD70. Nat Immunol 2005; 6:412-8.

Tesselaar K, Arens R, van Schijndel GM, Baars PA, van der Valk MA, Borst J, van Oers MH, van Lier RA. Lethal T cell immunodeficiency induced by chronic costimulation via CD27-CD70 interactions. Nat Immunol 2003; 4:49-54.

Gamadia LE, Remmerswaal EB, Weel JF, Bemelman F, van Lier RA, Ten Berge IJ. Primary immune responses to human CMV: a critical role for IFN-gamma-producing CD4+ T cells in protection against CMV disease. Blood 2003; 101:2686-92.

Arens R, Tesselaar K, Baars PA, van Schijndel GM, Hendriks J, Pals ST, Krimpenfort P, Borst J, van Oers MH, van Lier RA. Constitutive CD27/CD70 interaction induces expansion of effector-type T cells and results in IFNgamma-mediated B cell depletion. Immunity 2001; 15:801-12.

Rentenaar RJ, Gamadia LE, van DerHoek N, van Diepen FN, Boom R, Weel JF, Wertheim-van Dillen PM, van Lier RA, ten Berge IJ. Development of virus-specific CD4(+) T cells during primary cytomegalovirus infection. J Clin Invest 2000; 105:541-8.

Hamann D, Baars PA, Rep MH, Hooibrink B, Kerkhof-Garde SR, Klein MR, van Lier RA. Phenotypic and functional separation of memory and effector human CD8+ T cells. J Exp Med 1997; 186:1407-18.

Kuijpers TW, van Lier RA, Hamann D, de Boer M, Thung LY, Weening RS, Verhoeven AJ, Roos D. Leukocyte adhesion deficiency type 1 (LAD-1)/variant. A novel immunodeficiency syndrome characterized by dysfunctional beta2 integrins. J Clin Invest 1997; 100:1725-33.

Rep MH, van Oosten BW, Roos MT, Adèr HJ, Polman CH, van Lier RA. Treatment with depleting CD4 monoclonal antibody results in a preferential loss of circulating naive T cells but does not affect IFN-gamma secreting TH1 cells in humans. J Clin Invest 1997; 99:2225-31.

Hamann J, Vogel B, van Schijndel GM, van Lier RA. The seven-span transmembrane receptor CD97 has a cellular ligand (CD55, DAF). J Exp Med 1996; 184:1185-9.

Lankester AC, van Schijndel GM, Cordell JL, van Noesel CJ, van Lier RA. CD5 is associated with the human B cell antigen receptor complex. Eur J Immunol 1994; 24:812-6.

Hintzen RQ, Lens SM, Koopman G, Pals ST, Spits H, van Lier RA. CD70 represents the human ligand for CD27. Int Immunol 1994; 6:477-80.

van Noesel CJ, Borst J, de Vries EF, van Lier RA. Identification of two distinct phosphoproteins as components of the human B cell antigen receptor complex. Eur J Immunol 1990; 0:2789-93.

van Noesel C, Miedema F, Brouwer M, de Rie MA, Aarden LA, van Lier RA. Regulatory properties of LFA-1 alpha and beta chains in human T-lymphocyte activation. Nature 1988; 333:850-2.

van Lier RA, Borst J, Vroom TM, Klein H, Van Mourik P, Zeijlemaker WP, Melief CJ. Tissue distribution and biochemical and functional properties of Tp55 (CD27), a novel T cell differentiation antigen. J Immunol 1987; 139:1589-96.