Femke van Wijk


Prof. Dr. Femke van Wijk was trained in immunology at the lab of Prof. Berent Prakken at the UMC Utrecht and the La jolla Institute for Immunology in the USA. Currently, she is a full professor and research group leader at the Center for translational immunology (CTI) at UMC Utrecht. Her research group focuses on tissue T cell responses in health and inflammation, and how to translate these insights into tools for (pre-clinical) disease monitoring and therapeutic targeting in chronic inflammatory diseases. In 2021 she received a ZonMw VICI grant for her work on naïve T cell imprinting and immune development. More recently, prof. van Wijk won the NWO Athena award (2023) for being a female researcher who inspires and encourages many young researchers from everywhere in the world. 

Corine Geurts van Kessel

Chella K. Vadivel


Chella Krishna Vadivel moved from India to Copenhagen back in 2017 to pursue his Master’s degree in Immunology at the University of Copenhagen. After graduating, he continued to do a PhD in the LEO Foundation Skin Research Center (SIC), University of Copenhagen, where he investigated the link between Staphylococcus aureus infections and drug resistance mechanisms in Cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL). During this time, he also went to UC Irvine, California, as a visiting scholar (2023) and finally obtained his PhD in the beginning of 2024. Now, Chella is working as a Postdoc in the LEO Foundation Skin Research Center on a similar topic as his PhD, diving into the complex interactions between bacteria and malignant T cells in CTCL. 

Luigi Naldini


Luigi Naldini, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Cell and Tissue Biology and of Gene and Cell Therapy at the San Raffaele University School of Medicine and Scientific Director of the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (Milan, Italy). He has received his medical degree from the University of Turin (Italy) and his PhD from the University “La Sapienza” of Rome (Italy). He is Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and has been President of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT). For the past 25 years he has pioneered the development and the applications of lentiviral vectors for gene therapy, which have become one of the most widely used tools in biomedical research against several currently untreatable and deadly human diseases. Throughout this time, he has continued to investigate new strategies to overcome the major hurdles to safe and effective gene transfer, envisioning innovative solutions that are not only being translated into new therapeutic strategies for genetic disease and cancer, but have also allowed novel insights into hematopoietic stem cell function, induction of immunological tolerance, and tumor angiogenesis. Remarkably, he has published over 300 scientific papers and he is co-founder of three innovative biotech start-up companies: Genenta (recently listed on Nasdaq), Epsilen Bio (now acquired by Chroma Medicine) and Genespire. 

Jakko van Ingen


Jakko van Ingen, MD, PhD, is a consultant clinical microbiologist and head of the mycobacteriology reference laboratory at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He trained at Radboud university medical center and at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado. Jakko has authored over 250 papers on mycobacterial disease in peer-reviewed scientific journals and is consulted on diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacterial disease from all over the world. His research group focuses on the pharmacodynamics of antimycobacterial drugs and bacteriophage studies for the development of new treatment regimens for tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacterial disease. 

Iosifina Foskolou

Ozlem Bulut


Ozlem Bulut is a postdoctoral researcher at Radboud UMC Nijmegen. She completed her PhD on immune aging and the implications of BCG vaccination to overcome it. Ozlem’s current postdoctoral research continues to explore immune aging, focusing on its role in cardiovascular and metabolic health. Besides her primary research, together with Jorge Dominguez-Andres and Mihai Netea in collaboration with the German Aerospace Agency, she is exploring the impact of extraterrestrial environments on common microorganisms and how this influences immune recognition and response. Beyond research, Ozlem is particularly passionate about science communication and aims to pursue a career in this direction. 

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