18 January 2018

We proudly introduce our new professor at the Dept. of Tumor Immunology. Her research focuses on the role of membrane proteins in the development of cancer.

Annemiek van Spriel (Ermelo, 1973) obtained a Master's degree with honours in Medical Biology from Utrecht University in 1996. In 2001 she obtained her PhD on research into Neutrophil Fc receptors and Mac-1: from biology to immunotherapy. She was awarded scholarships from the Dutch Cancer Society and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Talent Grant) to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Leukocyte Membrane Protein Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia.

Grants

Since 2004, Annemiek van Spriel has been working at the Dept. of Tumor Immunology. In 2012 she received an NWO-VIDI Grant and became a junior principle investigator (tenure track). Three years later she became associate professor and team leader of the Tetraspanin Research Group, and in 2016 she received an ERC Consolidator Grant to conduct research on the cell membrane of cancer cells.

Tetraspanins

Professor Van Spriel’s research focuses on the role of tetraspanins in the immune system and the development of cancer. All of our cells are surrounded by a cell membrane, of which the so-called tetraspanins are a part. These are proteins that play an important role in the organisation of protein complexes in the cell membrane that ensure cell function. There is increasing scientific evidence demonstrating a relationship between  tetraspanins and the development of cancer; however, it remains unclear what the underlying mechanisms are and how defects can lead to disease. Van Spriel’s group is now examining how tetraspanin networks influence the immune system and its relation to the development of cancer.

Anti-tumour immunity

Professor Annemiek van Spriel will continue her research on immunological processes during anti-tumour immunity and branch out into the field of ​​membrane organisation. The aim of her research is to gain new insights into the cell membrane in the healthy human immune system and in cancer patients.

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