My major research interest is innate immunity. I work on two main subjects:

(1) The role of Adhesion class G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) on immune cells. Since having cloned and deorphanized the first Adhesion GPCR, CD97, in the mid 90th, we are studying the structure, expression, evolution, ligand specificity, and function of this receptor family. Using the CD97–CD55 interaction as a paradigm, we obtained evidence that Adhesion GPCRs independently adhere through the N-terminal fragment and signal through the C-terminal fragment. We described activities of Adhesion GPCRs in granulopoiesis (CD97) and control of cytotoxicity (GPR56).

(2) The role of macrophages in inflammatory diseases. Aberrant macrophages activation is at the basis of various inflammatory diseases. We are investigating cellular programs in human monocyte-derived macrophages and, together with rheumatologists and neuroscientists, in synovial macrophages in rheumatoid arthritis and in microglia in multiple sclerosis. Our data demonstrate that gene expression in tissue macrophages is tightly regulated and indicate that knowledge of tissue-specific signatures and cell plasticity is at the basis of attempts to treat diseases by subverting their aberrant activation.

As AMC Biobank Coordinator, I’m responsible for the national biobank initiative Parelsnoer at the AMC ( ). Together with BBMRI, we conduct research related to the preservation, banking, and usage of biological samples.
Effective start/end date01/02/2007 → …

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