Karin Dijkman



Through my research I investigate how we can improve antibodies used for cellular immune therapy precondition strategies and potential other applications, by utilizing the complement system and other relevant immune pathways.

Cell-based therapies, such as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) therapy or Chimeric Antigen Receptor-T cell (CAR-T) therapy, have greatly increased therapeutic options for a wide variety of cancers. These cell-based therapies do require pre-condition of the patient where, either by radiation-, chemotherapy-, or antibody-based depletion, the immune system of the patient is ablated. However, all these strategies come with considerable drawbacks. With the aim of developing a safer, more effective and faster pre-conditioning regimen we apply targeted antibody engineering strategies to create pre-conditioning antibodies with improved depletion potency and biochemical properties, which will ultimately allow for enhanced clinical applicability.  

Curriculum Vitae

Previously I performed my PhD research at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre in Rijswijk, where I characterized protective and pathogenic immune responses, both in peripheral blood and in the lung, in the macaque model of tuberculosis (TB). In 2020, after obtaining my PhD at the University of Utrecht, I moved to Denmark where I worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Rasmus Mortensen at the Statens Serum Institute. There I investigated the feasibility of an improved single-visit TB vaccination regimen by combining the administration of live attenuated and subunit vaccines. I subsequently worked as a scientist at Janssen Vaccines and Prevention, supporting the development of their Ebola vaccine and a novel vaccine against the Human Metapneumovirus. In 2023, I joined the group of Leendert Trouw as a post-doctoral researcher, where I investigate how we can harness the complement system to improve antibody-based depletion strategies.  

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