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Annemarie Meijer appointed full Professor of Immunobiology

Annemarie Meijer is appointed full Professor of Immunobiology. Meijer’s research focuses on immunobiology and infectious disease. She uses the zebrafish as a model for understanding mechanisms of host immune defense against intracellular bacterial pathogens.

Annemarie Meijer (1964) studied biology in Leiden. She started her career in plant science. She obtained her PhD in Leiden in 1993 on the biosynthesis of medicinally important plant metabolites. As a postdoc she worked on the subject of transcription factors involved in development and environmental stress adaptation. In 2003 she switched to the animal field and became a staff member at the Institute of Biology of Leiden University, where she developed her research line in the area of immunobiology and infectious disease. Meijer also teaches cell biology and immunobiology and is coordinator of the MSc specialisation Animal Sciences and Health.

Zebrafish as a model organism

Together with Herman Spaink, professor of molecular cell biology, Annemarie Meijer set up a new research line with the zebrafish as a model organism. She set up facilities for the zebrafish in the Gorlaeus en Sylvius laboratories. Meijer uses the zebrafish model to study mechanisms of host defense against intracellular bacterial pathogens responsible for infectious diseases like tuberculosis and typhoid fever. She is also the scientific coordinator of an European project on zebrafish infection models for pharmaceutical screens.

New Strategies

In her future research, Annemarie Meijer aims at further elucidating the mechanisms that are employed by cells of the immune system to protect against infections, but on the other hand may be exploited by pathogens to disseminate through host tissues. In collaboration with colleagues at the LUMC she aims to develop new strategies for the treatment of infectious diseases, investigating host-targeted drugs as a possible alternative for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant strains.

Inaugural lecture

The Inaugural lecture of Meijer will took place on Monday 21 September.

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