Joost Beltman is assistant professor at the Division of Drug Discovery & Safety.
My PhD project (2000-2004) was performed in the Theoretical Biology group of the Institute of Biology (IBL) at Leiden University, supervised by Patsy Haccou, Hans Metz and Carel ten Cate. During this period, I worked on mathematical modeling of the impact of learning processes on evolutionary processes. From 2005-2011, I worked as a postdoc in the Theoretical Biology and Bioinformatics group headed by Rob de Boer at Utrecht University (from 2008-2011 on a prestigious NWO Veni grant). I investigated the dynamic nature of cell migration and cell-cell interactions as can nowadays be observed by in vivo imaging approaches. We developed novel approaches for the quantitative analysis of such dynamic imaging data as well as incorporating experimental data into computational cell migration models. Our questions were related to the functioning of our immune system, e.g., T cell migration, T cell-dendritic cell interactions, recruitment of T cells into the immune response, B cells migrating within germinal centers and the killing of target cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. From 2012-2014, I was a senior postdoc/research associate in the group of Ton Schumacher in the Immunology division of the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI). Apart from continuing my work on the modelling of T cell migration, I also worked on the analysis of cellular barcoding data in which cells have a unique DNA barcode that allows to follow how much offspring they generate.
In 2013, I was awarded a prestigious NWO Vidi grant to study the role of the immune system in cancer. This allowed me to start my own independent research group as an Assistant Professor at Leiden University (within the Division of Drug Discovery and Safety at the LACDR). In 2020, I was promoted to Associate Professor. My general research interest is to apply computational models and quantitative analysis to primarily dynamic imaging data (although we also exploit other data types such as gene expression measurements and cellular barcoding data). For more information on the topics we currently work on see the research project descriptions and the link to the ‘Image-based Computational Biology’ group on the right.
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