Dr. Ramon Arens

Associate Professor - Group leader
R.Arens@lumc.nl +31 (0)71 526 6704


My research aim is to understand the immunobiology of T-cell responses and to use this knowledge for the development and improvement of immunotherapeutic strategies to promote eradication of cancerous cells and pathogens. During my PhD and post-doc I was involved in challenging projects that led to advanced training and knowledge in cellular immunology, molecular biology and in vivo models. Studies at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (USA) (2006-2010) and thanks to a VENI grant and a Marie Curie individual fellowship allowed me to initiate my own research line focusing on the role of T-cell programming and costimulation and this line of research was continued at the LUMC (2010-present). Within the infrastructure of the department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion and funded by the Gisela Thier Foundation, I established a new research line in which T-cell based immunotherapy is the central theme. The endeavor has generated new insights into vaccine-mediated T-cell responses, T-cell programming involving costimulation and chemo-immunotherapy. The lab is currently funded by grants from the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF),  The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and the European Commission.


Curriculum Vitae:

I studied Medical Biology at the University of Amsterdam, and started my PhD training in 1998 with Prof. Dr. R.A.W. van Lier and Prof. Dr. M.H.J. van Oers at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. In 2003 I defended my thesis entitled “ Balancing effector T cell formation via CD27-CD70 interactions


Current and previous positions:

2016-present  Associate Professor, Dept. of Immunology, LUMC, Leiden

2010-2016      Assistant Professor, Dept. of IHB, LUMC, Leiden

2006-2010      Scientist, La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, San Diego, USA

2007-2012      Senior-Postdoc, Immunology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam


International activities (selected):

2019-present     Chairman of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) expert panel Microbiology and Immunology

2017-present    Honorary Research Fellow  at the University of Oxford, UK

2017                 Organizing Committee Member of the 16th International CMV/betaherpesvirus workshop/6th International CMV conference, Netherlands. 

2017-present     Associate Editor at Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics.

2016-present     Associate Editor at Frontiers in Immunology.


Project and applicant reviewer for ERC (Advanced) Grants, the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO, Belgium), The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), the Dutch Arthritis Foundation, The Dutch Cancer Society, The Wellcome Trust.

Reviewer for international journals including Cancer Immunology Research, Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy, Clinical Cancer Research, European Journal of Immunology, Frontiers in Immunology, Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer, Nature Immunology, PLOS Pathogens, Journal of Immunology, Science Translational Medicine.



  • OX40 agonism enhances PD-L1 checkpoint blockade by shifting the cytotoxic T cell differentiation spectrum

    van der Sluis TC, Beyrend G, van der Gracht ET, Abdelaal T, Jochems SP, Belderbos RA, Wesselink TH, van Duikeren S, Haften FJ, Redeker A, Beyranvand Nejad E, Camps M, Franken KL, .... Ossendorp F, Arens R.

    Cell Rep Med. 2023; 100939. doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2023.100939

  • A third vaccination with a single T cell epitope confers protection in a murine model of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

    Pardieck IN, van der Sluis TC, van der Gracht ET, Veerkamp DM, Behr FM, van Duikeren S, Beyrend G, Rip J, Nadafi R, Beyranvand Nejad E, Mülling N, ....Arens, R.

    Nat Commun. 2022; 13(1):3966

  • Memory CD8+ T cell heterogeneity is primarily driven by pathogen-specific cues and additionally shaped by the tissue environment.

    van der Gracht ET, Beyrend G, Abdelaal T, Pardieck IN, Wesselink TH, van Haften FJ, van Duikeren S, Koning F, Arens R.

    iScience. 2021; 24(1): 101954.

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