Prof. Karin de Visser is appointed an endowed professor of
Experimental Immunobiology of Cancer, in particular of the tumour
microenvironment, at Leiden University from April 1, 2019.
At the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) she will focus on
research into how the immune system influences the formation of
metastases and the effectiveness of cancer treatments, with a focus
on breast cancer.
Karin de Visser has been appointed on behalf of the Netherlands
Cancer Institute in Amsterdam and remains head of her research
group within the
Tumour Biology & Immunology Department.
Role of the immune system in cancer
With her appointment to the Department of Immunohematology and
Blood Transfusion (IHB) at the LUMC, she hopes to combine her
expertise and that of the LUMC research groups. De Visser: "By
joining forces we can gain new knowledge more quickly about the
role of the immune system in cancer, with the ultimate goal of
improving cancer treatment."
She explains: "For many years the LUMC has been one of the
leaders in the field of tumour immunology. The LUMC is also very
strong in immunological research in the context of other diseases.
Because we focus on cancer immunology at the Netherlands Cancer
Institute it is very important to be closely connected to the
latest developments in broader immunology. I, therefore, expect to
learn a lot from the research into autoimmune diseases and chronic
Myeloid immune cells
Conversely, de Visser will bring unique expertise to the LUMC
research into tumour biology and tumour immunology. "Cancer
immunology research is often focused on T cells while our research
is also focused on other, myeloid, immune cells that play an
important role in cancer. We also have unique mouse models to study
cancer metastasis and the role of the immune system in this at the
Netherlands Cancer Institute."
In February Karin de Visser received a VICI grant from NWO to
investigate how genetic changes in breast cancer cells influence
the immune system of patients. De Visser's research group is also
affiliated with the Oncode