One key element in the induction of immune responses against tumors or pathogens is the ability of Dendritic Cells (DC) to cross-present antigens. Currently approved adjuvants induce robust antibody responses, but are weak in priming CD8+ killer cells (cell-mediated immunity), essential for cancer and pathogen clearance.
We recently uncovered part of the working mechanism of a new class of adjuvants that enforces T cell-mediated immunity and antibody responses via an unprecedented level of antigen cross-presentation by DC (den Brok et al Nature Communications 7, 2016). In a multi-disciplinary team also consisting of our industrial partner, the aim is to define the molecular signature associated with our cross-presentation inducing adjuvant in mouse and human DC. The overarching goal is to develop the next generation of this unique vaccine adjuvant for clinical applications.
In this project, a combination of immunological (Flow, functional assays), molecular (RNA seq, qPCR) and cell biological techniques (Microscopy) and read-outs are applied in pre-clinical mouse samples as well as human samples. In addition, animal experiments will be performed for vaccine efficacy studies.
Scale 10: max. € 58838 gross income per year at full employment (incl. vacation bonus and end of year payments)