Rene van Lier studied Medicine and thereafter obtained his PhD degree in Immunology at the University of Amsterdam in 1988. From 1988 until 2000 he worked as a group leader at CLB (now Sanquin) in Amsterdam. In 2000 he became Professor of Experimental Immunology at Academic Medical Center(AMC), in Amsterdam and worked for 10 years at AMC heading the department of Immunology. In 2010 he moved back to Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation to join the executive board as director of research. Rene van Lier served as chair of the Dutch Society for Immunology from 2007 to 2013. He was honoured to be elected in the EFIS board at the ECI congress of 2012 and now serves as EFIS president.
His laboratory has a longstanding interest in unraveling the processes that drive the differentiation of lymphocytes. Most studies have started with observations made in the human system and were subsequently flanked by experiments performed in novel models in mice. Initially emphasize of the work has been on receptors of the immune system on T (CD27, CD70) and B cells (BCR, CD20). Later while working at AMC with the clinical transplantation group, studies were initiated to characterize the regulation of virus-specific T cell responses in humans, both in peripheral blood and solid tissues. These studies provided the basis for the characterization of a new transcription factor that was termed HOBIT (see Mackay et al., SCIENCE, 2016;352:459-63).