NEWSLETTER volume April 2021

Inside this issue

Topics of the month

1. Symposium 5
2. Vaccination study
3. Publications
4. In the spotlight
5. News

1. Symposium 5 on the 11th and 12th of May 2021

On the 11th and 12th of May we will be hosting Symposium number 5. Our partner Reina Mebius from Amsterdam UMC, locations VUMC is hosting this meeting. Keynote speaker is Claudia Mauria (UCL London) with a lecture titled Regulatory B Cells in Autoimmunity.

Claudi Mauri
She obtained a PhD in microbiology from the University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy, in 1990. Following postdoctoral studies in London at The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology and Imperial College, she moved to UCL Centre for Rheumatology in 2002 where she established her group.

Claudia Mauri is Professor of Immunology, Centre for Rheumatology and Bloomsbury Rheumatology Unit, UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences. Her main research focuses on the identification, functional analysis and the genetical characterization of regulatory B cells. Her complementary interest includes the understanding of the cause of the loss of regulation of immune responses (regulatory B and T cells), which may be the cause of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Both days will be from 10:00-12.30/13.00.
On day 1 we will have the lecture of our keynote speaker and the WP- presentaitons.
On day 2 we will have presentations from postdocs and PhD-students and updates from projects that have been awarded extra budget for technical applications.

We look forward to seeing you all. You can register here

2. Vaccination study

Target to B! Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in patients with autoimmune diseases

Whether a vaccination against corona is equally effective in people with (auto) immune diseases is unknown. People with these conditions often use drugs that suppress the immune system. In addition, it is unknown whether flares of these conditions can occur after vaccination. To answer these questions, a large study has been set up within the Target to B! consortium by Amsterdam UMC in collaboration with Reade rheumatism treatment center, LUMC, MUMC +, UMC Groningen, Erasmus MC, UMC Utrecht, Sanquin and RIVM.

Both people who want to be vaccinated and people who don’t participate in this study. The research consists of questionnaires (completed and submitted via email) and blood samples. Participants use a finger prick set to take a blood sample at home. This is used to test for antibodies against the corona virus. Some of the participants will be invited to the hospital for a more extensive bloodtest to examine their immune cells in more detail. These participants can then be subsequently vaccinated.

For this study, participants with certain autoimmune diseases and using certain types of immune suppressing drugs are selected and approached for participation. Our goal is to examine at least 3000 people. At this point 2.500 potential participants have received an invitation. Participation is by invitation only.
For more information, please visit www.T2B-covid.nl.

3. Publications

Congratulations to the NVLE on their open source publication "Hydroxychloroquine treatment in European patients with Lupos erythematosus: dosing, retinopathy screening and adherence " in Lupus Science and Medicine. The NVLE participates in our patient advisory board. Wendy Zacouris, the representative from the NVLE is co-author. We invite you to read the publication.


4. In the spotlight

Technical budget application

With a technical budget application you can be granted a maximum of €35.000 for extra work that will benefit the consortium and is carried out by multiple centra.
One of of the awarded projects is Implementing a Target-to-B! 3D in vitro lymphoid model to study B cells in health and disease.
Maaike Braham: To better understand B cell differentiation and investigate interactions and factors involved in this process in health, B-ONC and B-IMD disease, a 3D in vitro platform will be implemented to culture B cells simulating the germinal center (GC) reaction.
Over the past year, we have been setting up a human 3D lymphoid model, improving current in vitro systems in recapitulation of the GC reaction in terms of cell growth and differentiation, yield and survival, and the presence of antibody class switching.
With this additional budget, the model can be further optimized and validated for malignant (B-ONC) and autoreactive (B-IMD) B cells, starting with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

In the upcoming symposium we are looking to grant other applications. Submission deadline is the 5th of May. Please contact your WP-leader if you want to apply.

5. News

Did you now that:
  • We have a monthly WP-leaders TC to touch base with all the different workpackages. It's a nice way to discuss the integration of the workpackages.
  • All the workpackages have regular TC's to discuss progress of research. Please contact your WP-leader if you need more informtation about the TC for the workpackage you participate in.
  • There is a virtual labmeeting (every 6 weeks on a tuesday) for PhD-studens, Postdocs and others that are interested. In the last one Maaike Braham and Mariateresa Coppola shared some nice data. Please email Eugenie if you are interested in attending this meeting. The next meeting is on the 25th of May from 12.00-13.00.
  • All articles/ reviews etc published with regards to this study must comply with the regulations set out by Health Holland and the SGF. Please contact Eugenie about publications (we would also like to share your publications with the rest of the consortium by including them in the news update section of the newsletter)
If you have news you want to share with the consortium in this section, please email Eugenie: e.i.quartier@amsterdamumc.nl
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