Dennis Gravekamp

Research tecnnician


The innate immune system provides the first line of defense against pathogens. The innate immune system encompasses many different pattern-recognition receptors, including the RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs). The RLRs are RNA sensors that monitor the cytosol for the presence of viral RNA and kickstart an important antiviral defense pathway. Activation of the RLRs by viral ligands leads to type I interferon production, which in turn upregulates the expression of interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) to combat viral infection. However, chronic or excessive production of type I interferons can lead to severe immunopathology and therefore tight regulation of the RLRs is required. The activity of the RLRs can be controlled by autoregulation, ligand and protein-protein interactions or post-translational modifications. The latter includes ubiquitination, which plays a major role in regulating RLR activity.  I am currently studying how ubiquitination impacts on RLR signaling.


In 2011 I obtained my Bachelor of Applied Sciences from the Hogeschool Leiden. I performed my final internship at the virology department of the Erasmus Medical Centre, where I studied the interaction of the human metapneumovirus with the innate immune system. After I graduated I was recruited into an industry traineeship during which I performed projects for a selection of pharmaceutical companies, including Janssen Vaccine and Prevention, Abbott and Janssen Biologics. The main focus of these projects was assay development in order to assess the safety and efficacy of various products, but they also included formulation and stability studies. In 2016 I joined Charles River Laboratories, a contract research organization, where I worked on multiple projects for clients as an expert in CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing and droplet digital PCR. In 2021 I decided to join Dr. Annemarthe van der Veen’s group.


  • Stok JE*, Oosenbrug T*, Ter Haar LR, Gravekamp D, Bromley CP, Zelenay S, Reis e Sousa C, Van der Veen AG

    RNA sensing via the RIG-I-like receptor LGP2 is essential for the induction of a type I IFN response in ADAR1 deficiency

    The EMBO Journal, Feb 14 2022, DOI: 10.15252/embj.2021109760

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