Maria Yazdanbakhsh, Professor of Parasitology at the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant of 2.5 million euros. She will investigate why people in Africa and Southeast Asia respond less to certain vaccines than Europeans. Her goal is to find a solution for low vaccine responses.
“New malaria vaccine studies in Europe and the United States show protection of almost 100% amongst participants. However, if we repeat this study in Africa – where the vaccine is most needed – we only see protection in 30% of the participants,” says Maria Yazdanbakhsh , Spinoza Laureate 2021 and head of the Department of Parasitology. This phenomenon is known as hypo-responsiveness and occurs with several vaccines, such as those against Ebola, Rotavirus and Yellow Fever.
Leiden professor of Cellular Immunology of Parasitic Infections Maria Yazdanbakhsh receives the prestigious NWO Spinoza Prize this year. This border-crossing scientist contributes to more effective vaccines against parasitic infections and better medication for inflammatory diseases. She will spend the 2.5 million euros she receives on, among other things, developing young talent, with an emphasis on diversity.
This year, multiple LUMC Global PhD projects have been set up to stimulate international research collaborations in important topics within Life Sciences & Health. It is our hope that these international research projects will ultimately benefit global healthcare. It is with this idea in mind that we also welcomed Indonesian nephrologist Ni Made Hustrini as an LUMC Global PhD student. She will try to set important steps in unraveling the underlying causes of chronic kidney disease in Indonesia and in understanding a better way to manage it.
On April 15th, LUMC Global and the LUMC’s Obstetrics and Gynecology department organized a very successful expert webinar Innovations in Fetal Therapy. We have published the entire recording of the event online!