Training program for the immune system: regulation in vaccination and disease contexts.

Tuesday 26 September 2023, 12:30 pm
PhD student
R.J. Röring MSc.
prof. dr. M.G. Netea, prof. dr. L.A.B. Joosten

Trained immunity is a process that strengthens the innate immune system. While trained immunity normally protects the body against infections, when the ‘training’ is too strong or too weak this can have dire consequences. Seeking knowledge regarding the regulation of trained immunity is therefore an attractive strategy for future development of drugs that modulate the strength of immune responses. This doctoral thesis shows the status of trained immunity in the context of MMR vaccination and in patients with familial Mediterranean fever (a genetic inflammatory disease), and how trained immunity can be influenced by two proteins that are naturally produced in the body. One of these proteins, interleukin-4, has been engineered into a biocompatible nanoparticle-based proof-of-concept drug in collaboration with scientists from the Technical University Eindhoven. In the future, this nanotherapy may potentially be used in sepsis-patients whose immune system is severely dysregulated.

Rutger Jan Röring obtained his bachelor’s (Biomedical Sciences) and master’s (Molecular Mechanisms of Disease) degrees at Radboud University Nijmegen. In 2018, he started his PhD on trained immunity in the laboratory of experimental internal medicine at the Radboudumc. After defending his thesis, Rutger will move to Australia for the next steps in his scientific career.