M.J. van Gils PhD

Associate Professor
Main activities
vaccine immunology with the focus on antibodies
Focus of research

The van Gils lab is committed to make a lasting impact on the field of vaccine immunology. Our mission is to comprehend the underlying immunology behind vaccination, in particular the elicitation of antibody responses. These antibody responses are vital in the protection against infectious diseases and the major goal in vaccine research is to induce potent antibodies. We believe that the protective effects of antibody responses are to a major extent imprinted during the first encounters of B and T cells with vaccines. Therefore, gaining knowledge and control over the initial interactions of vaccine candidates with B and T cells and the formation of germinal center responses, will guide the development and improvement of vaccines against infectious diseases. Therefore, we focus on determining phenotypic characteristics of B and Tfh cells and the interactions between these cells correlated with lifelong immunity after common childhood vaccines and after experimental vaccines. We use different techniques such as RNA sequencing, T and B cell receptor analysis and monoclonal antibody isolation to characterize the phenotype, affinity, and specificity of the antigen-specific B and T cells. Through this, we will provide new insights directed towards improving vaccines with the ultimate goal to elicit durable protective immune responses against infectious diseases, such as HIV, HCV and Influenza.

Key publications
  • Brouwer Philip J.M., Caniels Tom G., van der Straten Karlijn, Snitselaar Jonne L., Aldon Yoann, Bangaru Sandhya, Torres Jonathan L., Okba Nisreen M.A., Claireaux Mathieu, Kerster Gius, Bentlage Arthur E.H., van Haaren Marlies M., Guerra Denise, Burger Judith A., Schermer Edith E., Verheul Kirsten D., van der Velde Niels, van der Kooi Alex, van Schooten Jelle, van Breemen Mariëlle J., Bijl Tom P.L., Sliepen Kwinten, Aartse Aafke, Derking Ronald, Bontjer Ilja, Kootstra Neeltje A., Joost Wiersinga W., Vidarsson Gestur, Haagmans Bart L., Ward Andrew B., de Bree Godelieve J., Sanders Rogier W., van Gils Marit J. Potent neutralizing antibodies from COVID-19 patients define multiple targets of vulnerability Science 2020;369 (6504):643-650 [PubMed]
  • van Gils Marit J., van den Kerkhof Tom L. G. M., Ozorowski Gabriel, Cottrell Christopher A., Sok Devin, Pauthner Matthias, Pallesen Jesper, de Val Natalia, Yasmeen Anila, de Taeye Steven W., Schorcht Anna, Gumbs Stephanie, Johanna Inez, Saye-Francisco Karen, Liang Chi-Hui, Landais Elise, Nie Xiaoyan, Pritchard Laura K., Crispin Max, Kelsoe Garnett, Wilson Ian A., Schuitemaker Hanneke, Klasse Per Johan, Moore John P., Burton Dennis R., Ward Andrew B., Sanders Rogier W. An HIV-1 antibody from an elite neutralizer implicates the fusion peptide as a site of vulnerability Nature microbiology 2016;2 (2):16199 [PubMed]
  • Sanders Rogier W., van Gils Marit J., Derking Ronald, Sok Devin, Ketas Thomas J., Burger Judith A., Ozorowski Gabriel, Cupo Albert, Simonich Cassandra, Goo Leslie, Arendt Heather, Kim Helen J., Lee Jeong Hyun, Pugach Pavel, Williams Melissa, Debnath Gargi, Moldt Brian, van Breemen Mariëlle J., Isik Gözde, Medina-Ramírez Max, Back Jaap Willem, Koff Wayne C., Julien Jean-Philippe, Rakasz Eva G., Seaman Michael S., Guttman Miklos, Lee Kelly K., Klasse Per Johan, Labranche Celia, Schief William R., Wilson Ian A., Overbaugh Julie, Burton Dennis R., Ward Andrew B., Montefiori David C., Dean Hansi, Moore John P. HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies induced by native-like envelope trimers Science 2015;349 (6244):aac4223-154 [PubMed]
  • McCoy Laura E., van Gils Marit J., Ozorowski Gabriel, Messmer Terrence, Briney Bryan, Voss James E., Kulp Daniel W., Macauley Matthew S., Sok Devin, Pauthner Matthias, Menis Sergey, Cottrell Christopher A., Torres Jonathan L., Hsueh Jessica, Schief William R., Wilson Ian A., Ward Andrew B., Sanders Rogier W., Burton Dennis R. Holes in the Glycan Shield of the Native HIV Envelope Are a Target of Trimer-Elicited Neutralizing Antibodies Cell reports 2016;16 (9):2327-2338 [PubMed]
  • Sok Devin, van Gils Marit J., Pauthner Matthias, Julien Jean-Philippe, Saye-Francisco Karen L., Hsueh Jessica, Briney Bryan, Lee Jeong Hyun, Le Khoa M., Lee Peter S., Hua Yuanzi, Seaman Michael S., Moore John P., Ward Andrew B., Wilson Ian A., Sanders Rogier W., Burton Dennis R. Recombinant HIV envelope trimer selects for quaternary-dependent antibodies targeting the trimer apex Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2014;111 (49):17624-17629 [PubMed]
All Publications
Research programmes

Prof. R.W. Sanders PhD (HIV vaccine research aimed at the induction of neutralizing antibodies)

Current research funding
  • AMC
  • AMC (Vrijgesteld)
  • NWO
  • NWO (Vrijgesteld)
  • Stichting Aidsfonds/SOA AIDS Nederland
  • ZonMw