Msc. Almira Akkari-Henic


I am starting as a PhD student in the group of Baoxu Pang from November 2018 onwards. My PhD project aims to study the role of non-coding regulatory regions during differentationa, by using novel systematic and genome-wide methods. Genetic information coded in genes shapes the fate of cells. However, gene coding regions only represent less than 2% of the human genome. The rest of human genome consists of repeats, transposons and other non-coding regions. A fundamental question in developmental biology is how to identify regulatory regions in the human genomes, and define their function. Currently I am focusing on identifying essential non-coding regulatory regions (ultra-conserved regions, enhancers, silencers, and other non-coding regulatory regions) using genome-wide dual-CRISPR screen. This will confirm the regulatory potential of these regions to affect important differentiation phenotypes. Functions of the identified regions will be further determined by associating to the genes and biological pathways that they regulate.

Curriculum Vitae:

I started my Bachelor research at the pulmonology department of Prof. Dr. Pieter Hiemstra at the LUMC where we mainly focused on how the innate immune system works, e.g. antimicrobial peptides. During my Master I went abroad: my first Master junior research project of 9-months was at the vaccine-strategy laboratory of Prof. Dr. Martin Müller at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany. Here I generated human papillomavirus both in mammalian cells as pseudovirions and in insect cells as virus like particles, aiding in the development of a new L2-based vaccine giving a broad protection against HPV. Afterwards, I did a 9-month internship in the immune regulation laboratory of Prof. Dr. Nicole Joller at the University of Zürich, Switzerland; where I improved the in vitro differentiation protocol of effector and Treg cells and gained insight into the specializing Treg cells in vitro. I obtained my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biomedical Science at Leiden University, where I am specialized in the Research track: ‘’Immunity, Infection, and Tolerance’’. Throughout my study I have worked in a variety of group abroad focusing on cancer research in combination with immunology.


  • Antibacterial Defense of Human Airway Epithelial Cells from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients Induced by Acute Exposure to Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae: Modulation by Cigarette Smoke.

    Gimano D. Amatngalim, Jasmijn A Schrumpf, Almira Henic, Esther Dronkers, Renate M. Verhoosel, Soledad R. Ordonez, Henk P. Haagsman, Maria Fuentes, Sriram Sridhar, Jamil Aarbiou, Richard A.J. Janssen, Annemarie N. Lekkerkerker, Pieter S. Hiemstra.

    Journal of Innate Immunity (2017) Feb 8. doi: 10.1159/0004551934

  • Rps14, Csnk1a1 and miRNA145/miRNA146a deficiency cooperate in the clinical phenotype and activation of the innate immune system in the 5q- syndrome

    F. Ribezzo, I.A.M. Snoeren, S. Ziegler, J. Stoelben, P.A. Olofsen, Almira Henic, M.V. Ferreira, S. Chen, U.S.A. Stalmann, G. Buesche, R.M. Hoogenboezem, Rafael Kramann, U. Platzbecker, M.H.G.P. Raaijmakers, Benjamin L. Ebert & Rebekka K. Schneider

    Leukemia (2019) Jan 16. doi: 10.1038/s41375-018-0350-3


Collaborate with us

Looking for information on one of our topics, a new place to conduct your research or experienced research to join forces with?  Feel free to contact us.!

Read more