In the Staal Group, we are trying to understand how immune cells are developing from stem cells, and how they are trained in the thymus to recognize self from non-self. We are employing high-content imaging, such as CyTOF, to look at more than 50 color-coded markers in the human thymus. This way, we can analyze which immune population are interacting wich each other.
Understanding how the body produce immune cells that can protect us accordingly is crutial for society. For instance, better understanding of these cellular processes will influence the research to treat autoimmune disorders.
We are trying to rebuild the immune system, includdng T cells in the thymus using stem cell based gene therapy.
Human thymus tissues with two medulla
Dr. Aline Zbinden & Prof. Frank Staal (LUMC)