During my current PhD, I’m focusing on women who experience a healthy pregnancy after unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss and compare them with women without a history of pregnancy loss. We expect that women who have had pregnancy losses show increased immune suppression to maintain this pregnancy compared to controls based on previous findings in our group. To catch the heterogeneity of the immune cells in the maternal decidua we make use of mass cytometry techniques.
Furthermore, using our in-house developed HLA allele-specific monoclonal antibodies we can address many questions. During my PhD my focus is on two projects. We focus on whether HLA-DR expression on syncytiotrophoblasts in some cases of preeclampsia is of maternal or fetal origin since the HLA-DR is not produced by the syncytiotrophoblast itself. Next to that, we use our HLA-class I monoclonal antibodies to obtain maternal microchimeric cells from the umbilical cord blood intended for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. These enriched maternal cells will then be analyzed by single-cell RNA sequencing. We hypothesize that maternal T cells in the cord blood are beneficial for the graft versus leukemia effect.
In 2015 I obtained my Bachelor degree in Biological and Medical lab Research at the University of Applied Sciences in Leiden. In 2014 I did my bachelor internship in the lab of Prof. F.H.J. Claas under the supervision of Dr. S. Heidt at the LUMC, Leiden. Here I focused on developing a tool for detecting HLA antigen-specific memory B cells, ELISPOT, intended for pre-transplant testing. I continued this work after my internship until 2018. In this period I also worked on several other projects, followed a wide variety of courses, and learned new techniques including mass cytometry. In September 2018, I started my PhD in the LUMC under the supervision of Prof. F.H.J. Claas, Prof. F. Koning, Dr. S. Heidt, and Dr. M. Eikmans.
Regulatory T Cells in Pregnancy: It Is Not All About FoxP3.
Krop, J., Heidt, S., Claas, F.H.J., Eikmans, M.
Front. Immunol. 11:1182, 2020.