Stef van der Meulen


The aim of my research is to discover the role of complement in the induction of autoimmunity against post-translationally modified (PTM) proteins. Autoantibodies targeting PTM proteins provide important clinical information as biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of several major human diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. However, how such autoantibody responses are initiated and maintained is still unknown. I’m going to use different models to assess how complement proteins are involved in the initiation of autoantibody responses against PTM-proteins.




I completed my bachelor physiotherapy at Leiden University of Applied Science. After a year working as a physiotherapist, I decided that I wanted to learn more about human biology. Thererefore I started the master biomedical science at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. During my masters I performed an internship at the section pediatrics infectious diseases, where I worked on the infectious disease Whooping cough.  My final internship I completed at the biotech company MICREOS in Wageningen, were I worked with lytic bacteriophages to prevent Campylobacteriosis. I obtained my master degree in January 2020. After graduation I started my PhD trajectory at the group of dr. Leendert Trouw working on the complement system and auto-immunity.

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