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Utrecht Center for Quantitative Immunology

Contact Details

Utrecht University

Padulaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands

Prof. dr. R.J. de Boer

0031 (0)30 2537560

Hotel Description

The Utrecht Center for Quantitative Immunology (UCQI) brings together an experienced collaborative team of immunologists, bioinformaticians, and mathematical modelers. Having worked together on quantitative immunology for more than a decade, we have learned to speak each others language, which enables fruitful iterations between our experiments and computational analysis of the immunological data generated by these experiments using modeling and bioinformatics.

As a team we perform experiments in mice and man, two photon microscopy, and develop bioinformatic tools, mathematical models, and computer simulations models. We estimate life spans of cell types, cellular division, production and death rates. We quantify the impact of immune reactions in their control of viral infection. We use peptide MHC prediction tools to suggest potential cellular immune responses.

  • Biomedical & health
  • modelling
  • bioinformatics
  • intra-vital imaging
  • deuterium labeling
  • prediction of T cell epitopes
  • Quantification of cellular immune responses to viruses
  • Maintenance of naive T cell repertoires during aging
  • Maintenance of memory T cell repertoires during aging
  • Prediction of peptide MHC binding
  • Immunovirology of HIV

Expertise and Track Record

We are one of the very few experts in the world on modelling the immune system, making the provided support unique world-wide.

1. Quantification of lymphocyte turnover) With the immunology groups of José Borghans and Kiki Tesselaar at the UMCU we form a centre of expertise for estimating cellular life spans and production rates using deuterium labelling in mice, healthy volunteers and HIV-1 infected patients. Our contribution Is the development of the proper mathematical models and help in the design of experiments and interpretation of the data.
2. Quantification of cellular migration) We are world experts on the analysis of cellular migration data obtained with confocal or two-photon microscopy. With the group of Ton Schumacher (NKI, Amsterdam) we demonstrated the directed migration of immune effector cells in the skin of mice.
3. Modelling cellular immune responses) We have developed several models for the acute immune reactions to viruses and bacteria, and have used these to quantify the immundominance relations between various responses, to estimate the killing rates of cytotoxic T cells, and understand the failure of current HIV-1 vaccines.

This center fosters collaborations between immunologists, modelers and bioinformaticians

  • Naik S.H., Perie L., Swart E., Gerlach C., Van Rooij N., De Boer R.J. & Schumacher T.N. (2013). Diverse and heritable lineage imprinting of early haematopoietic progenitors. Nature, 496: 229-232.
  • Gerlach C., Rohr J.C., Perie L., Van Rooij N., Van Heijst J.W., Velds A., Urbanus J., Naik S.H., Jacobs H., Beltman J.B., De Boer R.J. & Schumacher T.N. (2013). Heterogeneous differentiation patterns of individual CD8+ T cells. Science, 340: 635-639.
  • De Boer R.J. & Perelson A.S. (2013). Quantifying T lymphocyte turnover. J. theor. Biol., 327: 45-87.
  • Den Braber I., Mugwagwa T., Vrisekoop N., Westera L., Mogling R., De Boer A.B., Willems N., Schrijver E.H., Spierenburg G., Gaiser K., Mul E., Otto S.A., Ruiter A.F., Ackermans M.T., Miedema F., Borghans J.A., De Boer R.J. & Tesselaar K. (2012). Maintenance of peripheral naive T cells is sustained by thymus output in mice but not humans. Immunity, 36: 288-297.
  • Beltman J.B., Maree A.F. & De Boer R.J. (2009). Analysing immune cell migration. Nat. Rev. Immunol., 9: 789-798.


Hotel Characteristics

  • 3 dedictated postdocs
  • 10 dedicated phd students
  • 1 IT specialist


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