University Medical Center Utrecht
Meyaard obtained her PhD on immunology of HIV infection at the University of Amsterdam in 1995. She entered the inhibitory receptor field during her post-doctoral stay at DNAX in California by cloning a novel inhibitory receptor, LAIR-1. Back in the Netherlands, she set up a research group at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, studying multiple inhibitory receptor and their role in inflammation and Cancer. In 2016/2017 she spent a year as visiting scientist at Yale University. Currently Meyaard heads the Center of Translational Immunology at the UMC Utrecht and continues to study the biology of immunological checkpoints. Her basic research line focuses on identification and characterization of novel receptors and their ligands and their mechanism of action. This knowledge translates to therapeutic use of these receptors in two opposing settings: to use agonists to dampen immune cell activation in inflammatory diseases or to use antagonists as anti-cancer treatment.
Understanding the mechanism of action of these receptors and the cells they control will provide basic insight into tumor immune surveillance and failing anti-tumor responses. This is essential for future development of novel immunological checkpoint blockade strategies that lead to elimination of cancer cells while causing minimal collateral damage.