Since 2010 I work as a research technician in the group of Transplantation Immunology. Currently, I am working on the detection of HLA-specific memory B cells that are able to produce antibodies against donor HLA, which plays a role in chronic rejection of organ transplants. Since there are no validated diagnostic tools available yet to detect memory B cells capable of producing anti-HLA antibodies, we have developed several assays to detect and quantify HLA-specific memory B cells These test provides additional data to the clinic about the immunization status of a patient awaiting an organ transplant and are currently validated for clinical use.
In 1997, I completed my Bachelor degree in Biochemistry at the Hogeschool Rotterdam & Omstreken. The study included a 9-month traineeship at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam in the department of Immunology under the supervision of dr. Maarten Hazenberg. There, I worked on the project 'Bacterial antigens and their involvement in chronicle inflammation'.
Since 1998 I've worked in the Transplant Immunology group of the department of IHB, now the department of Immunology, in the Leiden University Medical Center. I started working on diagnostic testing by performing Mixed Lymphocyte Cultures (MLCs) and Cytotoxic T cell Precursor (CTLp) tests, with the aim to support finding the best matched donor for bone marrow transplant patients under the supervision of Dr. Machteld Oudshoorn. In 2010, I switched to research in the field of transplantation immunology, first in the group of Prof. Frans Claas, and since 2018 the group of Dr. Sebastiaan Heidt.
Donor-specific B cell memory in alloimmunized kidney transplant recipients - first clinical application of a novel method
Wehmeier C, Karahan GE, Krop J, de Vaal Y, Langerak-Langerak J, Binet I, Schaub S, Roelen DL, Claas FHJ, Heidt S; and the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study.
Transplantation. 2019 Aug 5 [Epub ahead of print]
A Memory B Cell Crossmatch Assay for Quantification of Donor-Specific Memory B Cells in the Peripheral Blood of HLA-Immunized Individuals
Karahan GE, de Vaal YJH, Krop J, Wehmeier C, Roelen DL, Claas FHJ, Heidt S.
Am J Transplant. 2017 Oct;17(10):2617-2626.
A novel ELISPOT assay to quantify HLA-specific B cells in HLA-immunized individuals
Heidt S, Roelen DL, de Vaal YJ, Kester MG, Eijsink C, Thomas S, van Besouw NM, Volk HD, Weimar W, Claas FH, Mulder A.
Am J Transplant. 2012 Jun;12(6):1469-78.