Our research is aimed at a smoother and speedier transition from preclinical research to pharmacological interventions, and the delivery of drugs in the human body by use of small molecules and biologics.
Welcome to the Cluster of BioTherapeutics which combines the expertise of the divisions Biopharmaceutics (Prof. Kuiper and Prof. Van Eck) and Drug Delivery Technology (Prof. Bouwstra and Prof. Jiskoot).
Our work aimes at the innovative biopharmaceutical concepts to intervene in auto-immune-like disorders, using biologics such as vaccines and therapeutic proteins. We strive for an integration of our experimental in-vitro and in-vivo data, in order to develop quantitative systems biology models of health and disease states, thus enabling us to better predict efficacy and drug safety. A special aim lies in finding new targets in immune based diseases such as atheroscelrosis.
Research themes and principal investigators:
Immunotherapy to limit atherosclerosis
In this research theme we aim to identify novel immunologic targets and apply immunotherapy to inhibit or even prevent the development of atherosclerosis.
Project: Vaccination against atherosclerosis; induction of protective CD8 T-cells through immunizationContact: Bram Slütter
My research covers two questions; what is the role of CD8 T-cells in atherosclerotic plaques and can protective CD8 T-cells be induced through vaccination?
Therapeutic intervention to enhance atherosclerotic plaque stability
In this research theme we aim to identify target proteins or cells that actively contribute to plaque destabilization.
Macrophages and atherosclerotic lesions
The infiltration of monocytes in the arterial wall, their differentiation into macrophages, and the subsequent accumulation of cholesterol in these macrophages initiate the process of atherosclerosis. We study the importance of specific genes in macrophages for atherosclerotic lesion formation by means of bone marrow transplantation.
Impaired barrier of inflammatory skin diseases
Contact: Joke Bouwstra
A strong focus in our research is to characterize in detail the impaired skin barrier properties in inflammatory skin diseases. Ultimately, we aim to normalize this barrier.
The administration route of vaccines and the subsequent targeting towards the immune system can strongly influence the quality and acceptability of vaccines.
Formulation of biopharmaceuticals
Contact: Wim Jiskoot
A major challenge in the formulation of biopharmaceuticals is to overcome their inherent instability. We are studying underlying mechanisms of degradation of biopharmaceuticals (especially therapeutic proteins and vaccines) in both liquid and dried formulations.