The research in our group (NPD) is focused on high sensitivity diagnostic tools for infectious diseases, aiming at near patient testing (on-site or point-of-care) and applications for low resource and remote settings. Utilizing appropriate technologies, user friendly diagnostics are developed and evaluated in real field settings. For enhanced analytical sensitivity we apply a novel nonconventional reporter technology (UCP, up-converting phosphor technology). Developed user-friendly UCP assays with improved sensitivity as such can play a key role to solving scientific queries. The test platforms have a modular design, are fully quantitative and applicable to various types of body fluids. NPD participates in several large international consortia (academia and industry), besides disease-related studies also specific collaborations to improve the UCP technology. Currently schistosome and mycobacterial infections are two main topics in our group. Together with LUMC dept. of Parasitology (dr. G.J. van Dam) we have developed an ultrasensitive test for helminthic Bilharzia, this test has become the standard reference to confirm Schistosoma infection. With LUMC dept. of Infectious Diseases (prof. dr. A. Geluk) we have developed a specific platform that allows simultaneous and quantitative measurements of multiple humoral and cellular biomolecules; e.g. biomarker signatures for tuberculosis and leprosy (mycobacterial infections). Several of these tests are being used worldwide and are also applied in clinical trials to validate new vaccines. Besides human infection diseases, drug level determination, veterinary and agriculture applications are explored.
At Wageningen University (the Netherlands) I’ve studied Molecular Sciences. I’ve received my PhD at the Faculty of Science at University Leiden (UL, Biochemistry dept.) investigating the molecular processes of bacterial mineralization. Hereafter I’ve studied molecular interactions in algal biomineralization (fixation of CO2) and the interaction with global warming. This study was initiated at UL (Geobiochemistry dept.) and continued at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA, US). Back in the Netherlands, I’ve started the NPD research group at LUMC (Molecular Cell Biology dept.), collaborating with US partners (academia and industry) focusing on HIV in saliva; in 2009 I’ve accepted an adjunct position at New York University (dept. Basic Science). Utilizing lateral flow (LF) in combination with the innovative high sensitivity UCP reporter technology we have successfully explored various applications resulting in large collaborations and international networks. Our research is funded by NIH and BMGF (United States), EDCTP and COST (European Union) and Ministry of Economic Affairs (the Netherlands).
Groups: Near patient diagnostics