Utrecht Center for Quantitative Immunology

Nienke Vrisekoop

Nienke Vrisekoop

Laboratory Translational Immunology
University Medical Center Utrecht
Utrecht University
During my PhD in the lab of Frank Miedema, Kiki Tesselaar and Jose Borghans I studied immune cell dynamics in health and disease using heavy water labeling. This project greatly benefited from mathematical modeling in order to quantitatively estimate and interpret production and death rates of immune cells. Inspired by immune cell dynamics I did my first postdoc in the lab of Ron Germain at the NIH in the USA to study T cell dynamics in living mice using intravital 2-photon microscopy. In addition I studied the relationship between the strength of T cell receptor (TCR) binding to presented foreign antigen and the strength of self-peptide MHC reactivity. Both projects greatly benefited from a quantitative approach.

The last couple of years I have extended my experience with intravital imaging in the lab of Jacco van Rheenen at the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht. A unique imaging technique developed in his lab permits imaging of the same location repeatedly over long timescales. Currently I am implementing this technique for multiple immunological questions within the Laboratory of Translational Immunology with a special focus on neutrophil and naive T cell dynamics. Mathematical modeling will enable us to optimize the experimental strategy, estimate the true contact times and predict how the observed contacts add up over time and space.

Five key publications

  • Pathogen-Related Differences in the Abundance of Presented Antigen Are Reflected in CD4+ T Cell Dynamic Behavior and Effector Function in the Lung. Torabi-Parizi P, Vrisekoop N, Kastenmuller W, Gerner MY, Egen JG, Germain RN. J Immunol. 2014 Feb 15;192(4):1651-60. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1301743.
  • In vivo imaging and histochemistry are combined in the cryosection labelling and intravital microscopy technique. Ritsma L, Vrisekoop N, van Rheenen J. Nat Commun. 2013;4:2366. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3366.
  • Intravital imaging of cancer stem cell plasticity in mammary tumors. Zomer A, Ellenbroek SI, Ritsma L, Beerling E, Vrisekoop N, Van Rheenen J. Stem Cells. 2013 Mar;31(3):602-6. doi: 10.1002/stem.1296.
  • T cell-positive selection uses self-ligand binding strength to optimize repertoire recognition of foreign antigens. Mandl JN, Monteiro JP, Vrisekoop N, Germain RN. Immunity. 2013 Feb 21;38(2):263-74. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2012.09.011.
  • Maintenance of peripheral naive T cells is sustained by thymus output in mice but not humans. den Braber I, Mugwagwa T, Vrisekoop N, Westera L, Mogling R, de Boer AB, Willems N, Schrijver EH, Spierenburg G, Gaiser K, Mul E, Otto SA, Ruiter AF, Ackermans MT, Miedema F, Borghans JA, de Boer RJ, Tesselaar K. Immunity. 2012 Feb 24;36(2):288-97. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2012.02.006.