Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is an important therapeutic tool to cure patients with hematological malignancies because of the potent graft versus tumor (leukemia, lymphoma) effect it induces. HSCT is however frequently complicated by GvHD (about 70% of patients) and opportunistic infections. These complications are the cause of the typical high HSCT-associated morbidity, profoundly affecting the quality of life of HSCT recipients, and accounting for the high transplantation-related mortality - up to 30% - that characterizes allogeneic HSCT.

Research in my group focuses on the role of B lymphocytes in the induction of GvHD and GvL reactivity and has led to the highly exciting and paradigm-shifting finding that patients with strong anti-leukemic activity generate AML-specific B cells that produce leukemic blasts killing antibodies. A second line of research involves reconstitution and function of innate lymphoid cells (ILC), in particular the protective effect of ILC after allogeneic HSCT. A third line of research concerns T and B cell recovery dynamics during lymphocyte reconstitution following HSCT, as measured by in vivo labeling of dividing cells by deuterium.

Funding: NWO Clinical Fellowship, NWO VIDI/Aspasia, LSBR Fellowship, KWF
Effective start/end date01/06/2016 → …

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