PhD Candidate Rheumatology Autoreactive B Cells

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 19 Sep 2021

Autoreactive B cells play a central role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as demonstrated by the remarkable response of patients to B cell targeted therapies. Our team recently identified that RA is characterized by a restricted autoreactive B cell pool. Interestingly, B cell receptors (BCRs), displayed by these B cells, harbour an extensive amount of glycans in their antigen-binding regions providing a selective advantage. This is where you come in! Using recently developed technologies, the goal of this project is to characterize autoreactive B cells and BCR sequences at several disease stages. This analysis is aiming to set the ground for the development of a ‘vaccine’ against the autoreactive B cells. Likewise, you will identify the functional importance of glycans attached to the BCR for autoreactive B cells and elucidate how they are involved in the loss of immunological tolerance. This research project focuses on the characterization and eradication of autoreactive B cells in a B cell driven autoimmune disease. The project involves fundamental as well as translational research in a multi-disciplinary and enthusiastic team consisting of biologists, immunologists, rheumatologists and technicians.

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