NWO Building Blocks project Jacob Hoogenboom approved

News - 30 November 2016

Research project title: "Defining molecular and cellular modulators of cancer immunotherapy by automated high throughput 3D light-electron microscopy". The main goal of the researchers is to identify fundamental mechanisms by which tumor cells modulate their environment to prevent their destruction by the immune system. They will develop state-of-the art microscopy tools to obtain an integrated view on the molecular and cellular factors that affect the behavior of individual immune cells in a 3D mouse model of breast cancer. The results will be of relevance for cancer immunotherapy and establish new microscopy tools. 

Three-Dimensional Tumour Cartography

Cancer cells can killed by the T-cells in our immune system, but some tumours manage to literally keep the T-cells at a distance. How this is done and precisely which molecules play a role is largely unknown. The researchers will develop a new microscopy technique to make a three-dimensional atlas of a cancer cell and its immediate environment. This enables to directly pinpoint where and how the T-cells are blocked and which are the responsible molecules. By inactivating these molecules, it will become possible to also make these tumours susceptible to infiltration by T-cells and cancer immunotherapy. 

NWO Building Blocks of Life: € 550k in total (2 PhD’s, 1 in Utrecht and 1 in Delft).

Applicants: Judith Klumperman (UMC Utrecht), Jacob Hoogenboom (TU Delft)

Industrial partners: Genentech (USA), Delmic BV (NL)