Vrije Uni­ver­si­teit Amsterdam


Vrije Uni­ver­si­teit Ams­ter­dam (VUA)

The Vrije Uni­ver­si­teit Ams­ter­dam (VUA) was foun­ded in 1880 and is a pres­ti­gious Dutch rese­arch uni­ver­sity with a focus on aca­de­mic excel­lence and socie­tal impact. Loca­ted in Ams­ter­dam, the uni­ver­sity offers diverse under­gra­duate, gra­duate, and doc­to­ral pro­grams across disci­pli­nes, fos­te­ring a sti­mu­la­ting aca­de­mic environment.

The rese­arch of Prof. Mar­tine Smit and Dr. Marco Side­rius focu­ses on novel con­cepts of GPCRs (e.g. con­sti­tu­tive acti­vity, endo­so­mal signal­ling, dime­ri­sa­tion, EV bio­logy) and targeting/understanding of (onco­ge­nic) signal­ling net­works acti­va­ted by clas­si­cal and aty­pi­cal human and viral che­mo­kine recep­tors. This divi­sion has ample expe­ri­ence in drug dis­co­very aspects of GPCRs and col­la­bo­rate with lea­ding pharmaceutical/biotech com­pa­nies, resul­ting in seve­ral patents. In the last decade Smit and Dr. Rai­mond Heu­kers have iden­ti­fied seve­ral nano­bo­dies (sin­gle-domain anti­bo­dies) tar­ge­ting and modu­la­ting human and viral che­mo­kine recep­tor func­tion. A new rese­arch line initia­ted by Dr. Chris Scha­fer is adding struc­tu­ral bio­phy­sics to fur­ther resolve and under­stand how these recep­tors func­tion. Dr. Reg­gie is focus­sing on tar­ge­ting of che­mo­kine-recep­tor-GAG interactions.

The Team at VUA will con­tri­bute their exper­tise and tools in che­mo­kine recep­tor bio­logy to the UniS­ens project.