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Profile picture of Rob Gruters
Principal Investigator

Dr. R.A (Rob) Gruters


  • Department
  • Viroscience
  • Focus area
  • Virology, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Vaccinology



Since the start of my thesis, my research has focused the pathogenesis of HIV infection. The subject of my thesis was “T cell function in HIV infection”. To study this, I did not solely rely on immunological techniques, but also put virological and molecular techniques in my toolbox. This allowed to manipulate the interactions between virus and T cells, to obtain more detailed information. The success of our experiments finally resulted in vaccination trials in HIV-infected patients in clinical trials. All vaccinations have been safe, with limited adverse events, despite treatment interruption. Immunogenicity has been shown, but this was not sufficient to suppress virus replication completely.

Antiviral therapy against HIV has greatly improved the quality and expectancy of life for people living with HIV. Monitoring HIV drug levels with mass spectrometry and dried blood spots has been successful project. Currently I am involved in identifying novel mechanisms of resistance, outside the enzymes targeted by the drugs. In search of a cure ways to deplete the latent reservoir are being tested and monitoring of the reservoir is also one of my current research topics. Other areas of interest include HIV-2 infection, that is in most cases non-pathogenic and may be a model for HIV-1 containment.

Education and career

  • 1987: Utrecht University, MSc in Biology, specialization chemical biology
  • 1990: University of Amsterdam, PhD, faculty of medicine, T cell function in HIV infection
  • 1990-2003: Ecole Normale Supérièure de Lyon, UMR 103 CNRS/bioMérieux, Charge de Recherche 1ere classe, Full time, permanent position
  • 2003-present: Erasmus MC, department of virology, workgroup leader,


Teaching activities

Co-promotor of:

Christophe Guillon (1997) Rôle du gène de régulation tat dans la détermination du phénotype biologique des variants SI/lymphotropes et NSI/monocytotropes du VIH-1, Université de Lyon 1, Claude Bernard

Carel van Baalen (2002) The capacity of cytotoxic T lymphocytes to control reproduction of human immunodeficiency virus, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Anna de Goede (2014) HIV Immunotherapy: Host Immunity and Virus Evolution, Erasmus University Rotterdam,

Wesley de Jong, Erasmus University Rotterdam, anticipated 2020

Cynthia Lungu, Erasmus University Rotterdam, anticipated 2021

Other positions

Chairperson of the Educational Committee of the Erasmus Postgraduate School Molecular Medicine

Scholarships, grants, and awards

  • 2007 – 2010: Top Institute Pharma, T4-212: A multidisciplinary approach to monitor and select effective therapy in HIV infection
  • 2011 – 2016: Virgo: Novel interventions in HIV infection, novel diagnostics in HIV infection
  • 2013 – 2017:HEALTH.2013.1.3-3: Safety and efficacy of therapeutic vaccines FP7-HEALTH-2013-INNOVATION-1 iHIVARNA
  • 2016 – 2020: EU Horizon 2020: EHVA research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 681032
  • 2019 - 2-22: Aidsfonds Holland Health HIV Cure, “ICD”, an innovative approach towards latency reversal and HIV Cure in chronic HIV infected patients
  • 2019 – 2024: National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. Award Number R01AI147330: "Novel mechanisms contributing to failure of dolutegravir-containing cART in clinical practice"

My Groups