Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a human herpesvirus that persistently infects over 95% of the adult human population, but no curative treatment is available as of yet. My PhD research focuses on two aspects of EBV infection. The first goal is to understand how viral particles are transported within the cell ultimately leading to delivery of the viral genome into the nucleus for replication. Results obtained will increase our knowledge on the infection cycle of EBV and provide novel opportunities to manipulate this process. The second goal is to unravel new mechanisms of immune modulation by EBV. To establish persistent infection, herpesviruses employ multiple immune evasion strategies. We are now focusing on viral interference with type I IFN induction upon cytosolic nucleic acid sensing.
In November 2017, I finished the research master of Life Science & Technology at Leiden University. During this study, I did a major internship under supervision of Maaike Ressing at the LUMC within the group of CCB-VSB on the subject of immune evasion by the EBV. I did my minor internship under supervision of Ilana Berlin in the group of CCB-CI1. Here, I focussed on the role of the deubiquitinating enzyme USP54 within cellular systems. Since November 2017, I am a PhD student within both the Hoeben/Ressing and Neefjes/Berlin groups.
• Human B cells fail to secrete type I interferons upon cytoplasmic DNA exposure.
Gram AM, Sun C, Landman SL, Oosenbrug T, Koppejan HJ, Kwakkenbos MJ, Hoeben RC, Paludan SR, Ressing ME.;
Mol Immunol. 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2017.08.025