Jitske van den Bulk (PhD-student at Dept. of Pathology, Leiden University Medical Center) receives the Eurolife grant for a 3 month research stay in the lab of Prof. Zlatko Trajanoski at Medical University of Innsbruck. She will study neoantigen-specific T cell responses using tumor organoid cultures.
The research stay of Jitske will take place from January until March 2020. She has been granted the Eurolife Scholarship for Early Career Researchers of 7.500 euro by the Directorate of Research Policy, LUMC. This research stay builds upon recent collaboration/exchanges between both research groups at LUMC and Medical University of Innsbruck: in April 2018, Prof. Trajanoski presented a Eurolife Distinguished Lecture at LUMC and last year Noel de Miranda (LUMC, supervisor of Jitske) visited the lab of Prof. Trajanoski for three months (also supported by a Eurolife Scholarship).
Jitske’s PhD concerns the development of neoantigen-targeted therapies for low mutation burden colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. In order to investigate this, patient material is collected and T cell reactivity assays are performed. In order to extend the current CRC patient sample databases, Jitske will visit Prof. Trajanoski’s lab at Medical University of Innsbruck to get instructed on culturing tumour organoids, which would create a great source of viable tumour material in the T cell reactivity assays. Jitske’s visit at MUI is expected to benefit both, the visiting and receiving groups: Prof. Trajanoski’s group would like to perform more wet-lab experiments, e.g. investigations on neoantigen-specific responses and Jitske expects to benefit from the experience in the analysis of complex data of Prof. Trajanoski’s lab.