PhD Daphne van Elsland


My main project is aimed at unravelling the association between bacterial pathogens and cancer development. Pathogenic bacteria can manipulate host tissues and immunity to ensure their survival within a host. Such manipulation can support cell transformation in predisposed cells and can contribute to the multistep process towards cancer. This correlation between bacterial infections and cancer has already been reported by the Neefjes-group in 2015 for Salmonella Typhi infections and gallbladder carcinoma. Currently, we are investigating what the exact molecular mechanisms are by which pathogenic bacteria can cause cellular transformation, and whether we can find correlations between other cancer types and bacterial infections. The latter we aim to evaluate in close collaboration with the Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM), with whom we recently published a paper concerning increased colon cancer risk after severe Salmonella infection.

Curriculum Vitae:

In 2007 I started with the bachelor’s programme Health and Life Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam. Following my bachelor’s degree (2010) I started the master’s program in Biomolecular Sciences at the VU in Amsterdam, which I finished in 2012. From November 2012 until November 2016 I conducted my doctoral studies at the department of Bio-Organic Synthesis under supervision of dr. S.I. van Kasteren and prof.dr. H.S. Overkleeft. During my doctoral studies I explored the combinatorial use of bioorthogonal labelling and EM-based imaging techniques to enable observation of specific molecular targets in their ultrastructural context within the cell. A large part of my doctoral studies was performed at the Electron Microscopy section of the department of Molecular Cell biology (LUMC, Leiden) under supervision of A.J. Koster.


  • Bacterial infections and cancer

    Daphne van Elsland, Jacques Neefjes

    EMBO reports, 2018. doi: 10.15252/embr.201846632.

  • Ultrastructural Imaging of Salmonella-Host Interactions Using Super-resolution Correlative Light-Electron Microscopy of Bioorthogonal Pathogens.

    van Elsland DM, Pujals S, Bakkum T, Bos E, Oikonomeas-Koppasis N, Berlin I, Neefjes J, Meijer AH, Koster AJ, Albertazzi L, van Kasteren SI.

    Chembiochem. 2018. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201800230

  • Detection of bioorthogonal groups by correlative light and electron microscopy allows imaging of degraded bacteria in phagocytes.

    van Elsland DM, Bos E, de Boer W, Overkleeft HS, Koster AJ, van Kasteren SI.

    Chem Sci. 2016. doi: 10.1039/c5sc02905h.


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