BSI / NVVI Congress 2016 | 6 - 9 December, Liverpool UK

Ildiko Van Rhijn

Harvard Medical School

Ildiko Van Rhijn

Harvard Medical School

Biography

After a PhD in Immunology at the Universiteit Utrecht and Utrecht Medical Center, my initial contribution to the CD1 field, as a postdoc in Branch Moody’s lab at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, was the discovery of two novel CD1-presented antigens. As an Assistant Professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University, I led a research group that worked on CD1 function and lipid-based vaccines in animals that express families of CD1 proteins comparable in composition to the human CD1 family. I was the first to recognize the substantial differences among orthologous CD1 proteins from different mammalian species and started to work with human immune cells and tissues. As an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, I joined a collaborative effort to develop human CD1 tetramers and artificial human antigen presenting cells. These tools led to insights into the biological function of CD1 molecules in the human immune system. I discovered interdonor conserved human T cell populations that recognize lipids from M. tuberculosis presented by CD1b and showed that lipid antigen exposure leaves a detectable imprint in the T cell repertoire of individual human subjects. My most recent work demonstrates that human CD1b-specific T cells can recognize phospholipids that are present in bacteria and mitochondria, which suggests that this may be a way to stimulate immune recognition of infected and stressed cells. Currently I am part of a NIH tuberculosis research unit (TBRU) working on MHC- and CD1-based immune monitoring and immune transcriptomic analysis of tuberculosis progression.

All session by Ildiko Van Rhijn