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Research & Application

Areas of interest

Discovery the versatility of immune repertoire analysis

Learn how the unprecedented breadth, depth, and precision of immune repertoire analysis is significantly transforming various areas of biomedical sciences.

 

Immuno-oncology

Modulation and modification of the adaptive immune system has become a powerful weapon to combat cancer.

Our increased understanding of the immune system drives the development of novel immunotherapy strategies, each harnessing in a unique way the exquisite power of the body’s own immune system

Vaccination

No single preventive health intervention is more cost-effective than immunization. Immune repertoire analysis has taken a predominant role in the development of vaccination strategies against infectious disease, but also in the design of therapeutic cancer vaccines.

Twenty years of research has been put in the development of cancer vaccines; active immunizations designed to treat growing tumors. The ease of its administration and minimal association with side-effects have turned it into one of the most promising immunotherapies. Unfortunately, cancer vaccines often demonstrated only modest therapeutic effects in clinical trials, frequently due to the immunosuppressive mechanisms developed by the tumor. The high-resolution elucidation of lymphocyte sequences obtained through immune repertoire analysis has greatly improved our antigen-selection capabilities and facilitated the research of combination therapies, allowing for therapeutic cancer vaccines to become part of the standard-of-care for cancer treatment.

Autoimmunity

High-throughput analysis of immune repertoires will contribute to elucidate the mechanistic insights involved in autoimmunity development, driving the development of novel therapies and improved diagnostics.

Auto-immune diseases affect 3% of the global population and this number has been increasing over the past decades. The specific adaptive immune responses that are mounted during an autoimmune reaction leave a molecular imprint on the repertoire of antibodies that entails valuable information. High-throughput analysis of immune repertoires is transforming our understanding of auto-immune responses and will generate important mechanistic insights, guiding the development of novel therapies and improved diagnostics.

Infectious Disease

Immune repertoire analysis allows us to characterize so called ‘pathogenic fingerprints’ at high resolution, facilitating infection protection.

Immune repertoires clonally expand and select in a highly specific manner upon exposure to different pathogens. Our ability to characterize these so called ‘pathogenic fingerprints’ at high resolution using immune repertoire analysis has led to the detection of convergent immune responses amongst patients, facilitating the prediction of disease severity. And by investigating clonally related sequences, we can back-track B cell lineages to an unmutated common ancestor, providing novel treatment strategies for rapidly evolving viral pathogens such as influenza and HIV.

Transplantation

Immune repertoire analysis allows us to identify, track and monitor individual clones; further improving donor-recipient matching, diagnosis and treatment strategies.

Organ, tissue and stem cell transplantations save thousands of lives each year. Immune rejection poses the most formidable barrier to successful transplantation and often requires transplant recipients to take lifelong immunosuppressive drugs, making them highly susceptible to opportunistic infections. Immune repertoire analysis allows us to identify, track and monitor individual clones, shedding light on the ongoing immune responses during and after transplantation. By elucidating the immunological disparity between the donor and recipient, we can improve donor-recipient matching (alleviating the risk of rejection), diagnosis and treatment strategies.

Basic immune system research

Immune repertoire analyses are ideally suited to extensively characterize and visualize the complexity and plasticity of the most dynamic system of the human body – the immune system

The immune system is one of the most dynamic systems in the human body and only gradually we learn how to apply our understanding of the fundamentals of immunology for immunotherapeutic purposes. The application of immune repertoire analysis to study the immunogenic effects of phenomena related to aging, environmental impact, and genetic background will reveal more about how the body protects itself from disease, establishing a wealth of knowledge for the field of immuno-medicine.