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Infection & Immunity

Research in Infection & Immunity is translational and focused on common pathogenic mechanisms relevant for infection and immunity diseases on dynamics of pathogen transmission. Care will be multidisciplinary and includes standardized clinical/laboratory monitoring, collection of biological samples to create clinical, laboratory and immunology/microbiology databases and a biobank.

Research themes

The strategic research program I&I aims for a national and international leading role in obtaining and disseminating knowledge and innovations in the field of inflammatory and infectious diseases and immune-mediated therapy. We aim to improve treatment in patients with difficult-to-manage infections, immune diseases or cancer. Our doctors and researchers closely collaborate to deliver high-quality care and cutting edge research, where possible together with patients. We ensure our knowledge and expertise by training talented people to become the future generation of experts.

Strategic program I&I is organized in four connected research themes. Each theme has distinct research lines, and clinicians, researchers and research groups are often active in more than one theme. The research themes are:

  • preventing antimicrobial resistance;
  • preventing inflammation;
  • elucidating host-pathogen interactions;
  • developing immune-mediated therapy and prevention.

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Antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is considered a ...

Preventing inflammation

Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases (IMIDs) ...

Host-pathogen interactions

The mission of this theme is to understand the ...

Immune-mediated therapy & prevention

The strength of the immune system is underlined ...

In the spotlight: Nieke Vrisekoop, PhD on Microplastics and the immune system

Nienke Vrisekoop is assistant professor at the Respiratory Medicine Department at UMC Utrecht’s Center of Translational Immunology. At the first ever global Plastic Health Summit 2019 (October 8, Amsterdam), Nienke Vrisekoop presented her initial findings on how micro- and nano plastics can cause the death of human immune cells, and how ingested microplastics can enter an animal’s bloodstream. For more information visit www.plastichealthcoalition.org.

Nienke Vrisekoop

  

Research groups Infection & Immunity

Investigators Infection & Immunity

Chair Prof. dr. Marc Bonten

Prof. dr. Marc Bonten is chairman of the strategic research program Infection & Immunity. He is actively involved in three research themes: antimicrobial resistance, alternatives for antibiotics, and infection dynamics and infection prevention. His focus is on ICU-acquired infections, mathematical modelling of antibiotic resistance, and vaccination. 

Societal impact

Diseases resulting from failing immunity or infections (I&I diseases) constitute a major burden for humans, and sometimes require life-long treatment. Four of the 10 leading causes of death in the world are I&I diseases (WHO 2012). As are five of the top 20 most prevalent causes of moderate and severe disability in the world. Moreover, antibiotic-resistance is considered one of the major threats for human healthcare. To address the unmet medical need of I&I diseases the program will focus its efforts on 2 areas, which are prevention of infection and allergic and inflammatory diseases.

Ultimately, biomarker profiling to assess inflammatory signatures in individual patients will guide personalized treatment. Optimal treatment of patients with diseases resulting from failing immunity and/or infection requires a shift from typically organ-driven to personalized immune activation pattern-driven.

IMI-supported studies

The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry. IMI facilitates open collaboration in research to advance the development of, and accelerate patient access to, personalized medicines for the health and wellbeing of all, especially in areas of unmet medical need. UMC Utrecht is playing a pivotal role in several of these large international projects in the fields of antimicrobial resistance, infection prevention and auto-inflammatory diseases. 

Learn more about these studies 

Contact

UMC Utrecht
Heidelberglaan 100
3584 CX Utrecht

infectieenimmuniteit@umcutrecht.nl

For request for internships (BSc/MSc), please feel free to contact a principal investigator (see above) that fits your research interest

I&I office

Dr. Jovanka Bestebroer
Program manager, strategic research program Infection & Immunity
0031 887567924
Jovanka Bestebroer

Paul Geurts
Sr. communications adviser, strategic research program Infection & Immunity
0031 887555190
Paul Geurts