IRIS team

The IRIS team is headed by Nathalie Cools.

The IRIS team performs research on dendritic cells. On the one hand IRIS investigates distribution, phenotype and the function of DC subtypes and how the contribute to disruption of homeostasis between immunity and tolerant in diseases. On the other hand IRIS investigates tolerogenic dendritic cells (fundamental and translational) with a special focus on Multiple Scleroses. IRIS does, same as the TIGr group, studies in collaboration with the other 2 laboratories of VAXINFECTIO. There are also collaborations with dermatology, immunology, cardiology, pharmacology and gastroenterology.

For the multiple sclerosis research line, we demonstrated altered DC phenotype and function in the blood of MS patients, indicative of an inflammatory disease state and suggesting involvement of DC in MS.
Circulating DC of MS patients display a pro-inflammatory and migratory phenotype, evidenced by aberrant expression of maturation markers and upregulated expression of chemokine receptors CCR5 and CCR7. Since chemokine ligands have also been reported to be upregulated in parenchymal lesions and CSF of MS patients, this observation has prompted us to investigate the transmigration of these potentially pathogenic DC through the BBB (research funded by the Charcot research fund and DOCPRO-BOF).

Head:
Prof. Dr. Zwi Berneman

Professors:
Prof. Dr. Nathalie Cools

Post-docs:
Dr. Inez Wens

PhD-students:
Ann Sterkens
Ibo Janssens
Judith Derdelinckx
Megha Meena
Maxime De Laere
Wai-Ping Lee
Barbara Willekens

Technicians:
Coloma Costas Romero

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