Nina van Sorge

Molecular pathogenesis of bacterial infections

The van Sorge lab is committed to clarifying the molecular pathogenesis of bacterial infections across the entire disease process, ranging from pathogen acquisition to systemic disease.

Over the past decade, the lab has focused predominantly on the human pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Group A Streptococcus (Strep A) as these represent bacterial species of great medical importance; both pathogens have priority status with the World Health Organization for development of new therapeutics and vaccines. In particular, we have studied the role of glycosylated bacterial surface structures and their interaction with innate C-type lectin receptors and (vaccine-induced) antibodies. With this research, research in the van Sorge lab spans the entire spectrum from molecule to organism to patients to identify new (antibody-based) strategies to prevent and combat bacterial infections. Applied techniques include bacterial and host molecular genetics, protein chemistry, glycobiology, immunological models and in vitro and in vivo infection models.

Research team

Head of the team

Prof. Dr. Nina van Sorge
Professor Translational Microbiology | Head of the Netherlands Reference Laboratory for Bacterial Meningitis

Nina van Sorge (1976) studied Pharmacy at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, obtaining her PharmD degree in 2001. She performed her PhD research at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the labs of Prof. J. van de Winkel and Prof. J. Wokke on the topic of autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of Guillain-Barre syndrome.

After a short-term overseas fellowship and a mini-postdoc studying bacteria-lectin interactions at Utrecht University, she took up a second post-doc position in the lab of Prof. V. Nizet at UCSD (La Jolla, CA, USA) from 2007-2011 to expanded her knowledge in bacterial pathogenesis research. She returned to the UMC Utrecht on a MCSA Fellowship in 2012 and started her own research group in 2014 on the topic of bacterial glycobiology. In 2020, she moved her research group to Amsterdam UMC studying bacterial pathogenesis with a special focus on bacterial glycosylation in this process.

Team members
  • Sandra Bovenkerk; technician working on siRNAs in Neisseria meningitidis.
  • Marieke Kuijk; PhD student studying resistance mechanisms of S. aureus to the antimicrobial protein sPLA2-IIA
  • Kim Schipper; technician working on Neisseria meningitis serogroup W virulence in a zebrafish model
  • Yvonne Pannekoek; Assistant professor and principal educator, specialized in PubMLST, Neisseria meningitidis and Chlamydia regulatory mechanisms.
  • Sara Tamminga; PhD student studying the role of S. aureus WTA glycosylation in LC interaction in health and atopic dermatitis skin
  • Robin Temming, PhD; post-doctoral fellow studying glycan-specific antibody responses against S. aureus WTA
News & Publications Contact
Prof. Dr. Nina M. van Sorge