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D.T.S.L. Janssen, PhD

Post doc

  • Department
  • Gastroenterology and Hepatology



The immune system is a beautiful, smart and complicated network that protects the human body from pathogens. However, in some situations it makes a mistake and considers something originating from the body itself to be foreign (autoimmune disease) or something that should not be in the body as non-threatening (latent chronic infections or tumours). Luckily, the immune system is very dynamic and can be re-educated using immunotherapy. My goal is to develop a therapeutic vaccine, which is a form of antigen-specific immunotherapy, that will induce a strong virus-specific immune response to eliminate the HBV virus and cure chronically infected patients. 

Education and career

I studied Biomedical Sciences at the Leiden University and performed my PhD studies under supervision of prof. René Toes at the department of Rheumatology of the Leiden University Medical Center on the role of the adaptive immune system in the development, treatment and diagnosis of arthritis. I continued investigating the adaptive immune system in rheumatoid arthritis as post doc in the group of prof. Ranjeny Thomas at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute in Brisbane, Australia in 2015. Here I used MHC class II tetramers to identify self-antigen specific CD4+ T cells in blood of rheumatoid arthritis patients and explored the use of these tetramers to monitor the response to antigen-specific immunotherapy. In 2017 I started as a post doc at the department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology of the Erasmus MC.



  1. Jansen DT, Ramnoruth N, Loh KL, Rossjohn J, Reid HH, Thomas R. Flow cytometric clinical immunomonitoring using peptide-MHC class II tetramers: Optimization of methods and protocol development. Front Immunol. 2018 Jan22;9:8.
  2. Jansen DT, el Bannoudi H, Arens R, Habets KL, Hameetman M, Huizinga TW, Stoop JN, Toes RE.Abatacept decreases disease activity in the absence of CD4(+) T cells in a collagen-induced arthritis model.Arthritis Res Ther. 2015 Aug 20;17:220. 
  3. Jansen DT, van Heemst J, Polydorides S, Moustakas AK, Bax M, Feitsma AL, Bontrop-Elferink DG, Baarse M, van der Woude D, Wolbink GJ, Rispens T, Koning F, de Vries RR, Papadopoulos GK, Archontis G, Huizinga TW, Toes RE. Crossreactivity to vinculin and microbes provides a molecular basis for HLA-based protection against rheumatoid arthritis. Nat Commun. 2015 May 5;6:6681.  
  4. Jansen DT, Hameetman M, van Bergen J, Huizinga TW, van der Heijde D, Toes RE, van Gaalen FA. IL-17-producing CD4+ T cells are increased in early, active axial spondyloarthritis including patients without imaging abnormalities. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2015 Apr;54(4):728-35. 
  5. Kleijwegt FS, Jansen DT, Teeler J, Joosten AM, Laban S, Nikolic T, Roep BO. Tolerogenic dendritic cells impede priming of naïve CD8? T cells and deplete memory CD8? T cells. Eur J Immunol. 2013 Jan;43(1):85-92.