René Vogels grants S. Hato & G. Schreibelt

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During the annual meeting of the Dutch society of oncologists (NVvO) on February 7, dr. Stanleyson Hato and dr. Gerty Schreibelt of the department of Tumor Immunology were awarded a René Vogels travel grant to conduct research at the center for Drug Discovery of the university of Shizuoka (Japan) and IDIBAPS Hospital Clinic Barcelona (Spain), respectively.





HatoStanleyson spent three months in the laboratory of prof. Akira Asai at the university of Shizuoka in Japan studying the interaction of platinum chemotherapeutics and the STAT protein family. The STAT family of signaling molecules/transcription factors comprises seven members, which play essential roles in diverse biological functions such as: proliferation, survival, apoptosis and inflammation. Unsurprisingly, these proteins also play key roles in cancer initiation and progression. 'Recently, I showed that platinum-based chemotherapeutic drug inhibit STAT protein signaling in tumor cells and immune cells. Using an alpha screen-based assay, developed in the lab of prof. Asai, I was able to gain novel insights into the binding of these anti-cancer compounds to the STAT proteins.'

SchreibeltGerty spent two months in the laboratory of prof. Julián Panés and dr. Daniel Benitez-Ribas in Barcelona, to study antigen uptake and processing by natural blood dendritic cell subsets. Dendritic cells are key players in the initiation of adaptive immune responses. In human blood different DC subsets are found. 'We recently showed that these DC subsets differ in their capacity to take up, process and present antigens. In Barcelona, using Amnis Image Stream Analysis, which combines flow cytometry with high resolution intracellular microscopy, I was able to study these processes in more detail. The results will help us to better understand functional differences between natural DC subsets.'

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