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Gijsbert van Nierop
Principal Investigator

Dr. G. P. (Gijsbert) van Nierop


Workgroup leader of the B-cell platform

  • Department
  • virology, Adaptive immunity



Current research interests and goal

With the B-cell workgroup at the department of Viroscience, Gijsbert studies the humoral antiviral immune response at the clonal level. Key interest is the immunological and clinical implication of pre-existing cross-reactive antibodies on viral infection. The goal is to gain insight in what and how specific antibodies contribute to immune protection and pathogenesis.

Previous work and professional development

Gijsbert got his PhD on studying local humoral and cellular antiviral and auto-immune responses in multiple sclerosis patients under the supervision of prof.dr. RQ Hintzen and dr. GMGM Verjans. Here he developed a keen interest in the development of immunity and immunopathology that may arise during the virus-host standoff. In his final year of PhD, he redirected the acquired expertise by developing an independent research line. He setup a B-cell platform that enables studying the breadth and magnitude of pre-existing and new humoral immune responses towards viral infections at the clonal level.

External profile pages:


  • Muriel Aguilar-Bretones, PhD student (Sep 2019)
  • Sarah Getu, Research technician (Jun 2021)
  • Cristina Gonzalez-Lopez, Research technician (Nov 2022)


  • Brenda Westerhuis, Postdoctoral researcher (Jan 2018 – Sep 2021), current position: Medical molecular microbiologist in training, GGD Amsterdam

Field(s) of expertise

Adaptive immunity, Humoral immunity, B-cell and antibody biology

Education and career

Gijsbert received his PhD at the department of Neurology in 2018 for his multidisciplinary studies on the immunopathology that is associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). Here, he analyzed the presence of MS-associated viruses, the breadth and magnitude of the cellular and humoral antiviral and auto-immune responses in the context of MS-associated genetic risk profiles.


Key publications

  • Impact of antigenic evolution and original antigenic sin on SARS-CoV-2 immunity. Aguilar-Bretones M, Fouchier RA, Koopmans MP, van Nierop GP. J Clin Invest. 2022 Dec 1 [review article]; ahead of print.

  • Seasonal coronavirus-specific B cells with limited SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactivity dominate the IgG response in severe COVID-19. Aguilar-Bretones M, Westerhuis BM, Raadsen MP, de Bruin E, Chandler FD, Okba NM, Haagmans BL, Langerak T, Endeman H, van den Akker JP, Gommers DA, van Gorp EC, GeurtsvanKessel CH, de Vries RD, Fouchier RA, Rockx BH, Koopmans MP, van Nierop GP. J Clin Invest. 2021 Nov 1;131(21):e150613.

  • EBNA-1 titer gradient in families with multiple sclerosis indicates a genetic contribution. Mescheriakova JY, van Nierop GP, van der Eijk AA, Kreft KL, Hintzen RQ. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2020 Aug 13;7(6):e872.

  • Phenotypic and functional characterization of T cells in white matter lesions of multiple sclerosis patients. van Nierop GP, van Luijn MM, Michels SS, Melief MJ, Janssen M, Langerak AW, Ouwendijk WJ, Hintzen RQ, Verjans GM. Acta Neuropathol. 2017 Sep;134(3):383-401.

  • Elevated EBNA-1 IgG in MS is associated with genetic MS risk variants. Kreft KL*, Van Nierop GP*, Scherbeijn SMJ, Janssen M, Verjans GM, Hintzen RQ. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2017 Oct 12;4(6):e406.

  • Intrathecal CD8 T-cells of multiple sclerosis patients recognize lytic Epstein-Barr virus proteins. van Nierop GP, Mautner J, Mitterreiter JG, Hintzen RQ, Verjans GM. Mult Scler. 2016 Mar;22(3):279-91.

Teaching activities

  • Co-core teacher at the Infections and Immunity research master of the Molecular Medicine school
  • Teacher at the Biomedical Research in Practice pre-master
  • Co-promotor of Muriel Aguilar-Bretones MSc, a PhD student on arbovirus immunity

Current research projects

One Health Pact




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