Jacobs H

Heinz Jacobs

Group leader

+31 20 512 2065 h.jacobs@nki.nl

Heinz Jacobs started at the NKI-AVL as a graduate student in 1987 under the supervision of Hidde Ploegh, working on the ‘Molecular and Biochemical Characterization of the Feline MHC’ (master thesis). Subsequently, he continued at the NKI-AVL as a PhD student in the laboratory of Anton Berns, where he studied precursor T cells in genetically engineered TCR mutant mouse models and defined the role of the T cell antigen receptor complexes in T cell development, ‘Control of T cell development in TCR mutant mice’ (PhD thesis). In 1994 he was awarded an EMBO Post-doctoral fellowship to unravel the enigmatic mechanism of somatic hypermutation (SHM) of immunoglobulin genes in the division of Klaus Rajewsky, Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Germany. His work provided the first link between somatic hypermutation and transcription, and its association with canonical DNA repair pathways. In 1997 Fritz Melchers, the director of the former Basel Institute for Immunology, Basel, Switzerland, offered him an independent group leader position allowing him to continue his studies on somatic hypermutation and lymphoma development.

In 2002 he returned to NKI-AVL as a group leader. Here, his team continued in contributing seminal studies regarding the regulation and molecular mechanism underlying SHM of immunoglobulin genes and its intimate link to the DNA damage tolerance system. An independent research line focuses on epigenetic/transcriptional programing of lymphocytes as key mediators of adaptive immunity and the translational impact of our findings on immunotherapy and lymphoma treatment.

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