Jolanda de Vries
Jolanda de Vries is Professor at the Department of Tumor Immunology at the Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences. She was one of the pioneers to translate dendritic cell biology into potential clinical applications. The first clinical phase I/II studies in which patients were vaccinated with DCs loaded with tumor-specific peptides were initiated in 1997. She also developed a novel immuno-monitoring assay that is highly predictive for extended survival after vaccination with DCs (J Clin Oncology 2005). Her primary scientific interest continues along the line of DC-immunotherapy and in particular the migration and imaging of DC. For example, in-vivo imaging of ex-vivo labeled cells using MRI (Nature Biotechnology 2005). New opportunities for other cell-types (e.g. subsets of DCs) are now being developed. She recently completed the first plasmacytoid DC vaccination trial.
Jolanda de Vries was PhD candidate at the Department of Dermatology of University Medical Centre Utrecht from 1991-1997. In 1997 she joined the Department of Tumor Immunology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre/Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences. By the end of that year we were able to provide the first DC-based vaccine for a melanoma patient, the first patient receiving DCs in the Netherlands. This was achieved by a close collaboration with the Departments of Medical Oncology and Hematology. Over the last 8 years, we succeeded in establishing a clinical vaccination program in which tumor-associated antigens loaded on DCs to treat melanoma patients. My primary scientific interest continues along the line of DC-immunotherapy and in particular the migration and imaging of DC. Throughout the past period we have intensively studied migration of DCs both in vitro and in vivo and demonstrated that mature DCs are superior to immature DCs. Recently, we showed the exact localisation of ex vivo labeled cells with MRI in humans.