We make use of naive CD4+ T cells which we activate by cytokines and signaling through the T-cell receptor and co-stimulatory molecules into T cell subsets (such as Th1, Th2, Th17 or Treg cells). We perform a comprehensive analysis of the T cell subsets (i.e. analyze genome-wide total RNA transcription profiles, cytokine profiles, and epigenetic profiles) in the context of their genetic background.

By combining data from multiple risk loci, we calculate the corresponding genetic risk for each individual who provided T cells, and compare the number and activity of different T cell subsets between risk variants or groups of risk variants.

In addition, we will also stimulate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with different infectious agents such as Candida Albicans. The detailed genetic and molecular data will be integrated into molecular networks, in which the genetic background will serve as a way to perturb the systems.

Recent PhD theses

Researchers working on immunogenetics

  • Dr Jingyuan Fu – integrative genomics
  • Dr Vinod Kumar – functional genomics and immunogenomics
  • Dr Esther de Haas – genetic epidemiology
  • Dr Yang Li – statistical genetics and bioinformatics
  • Dr Sebo Withoff – immunogenomics
  • Dr Sasha Zhernakova – immunogenetics

PhD students

  • Isis Ricaño Ponce – statistical genetics

Funding from: NWO Spinoza award, Top Institute Food and Nutrition (TIFN), ERC, MLDS, BBMRI-NL