Author Archives

Theo van den Broek

Completed the Science Mentoring Workshop

Science Mentoring 3-part workshop for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are mentoring undergraduates in the laboratory or field.

Part 1. Undergraduate Research Fellowships & Writing Recommendation Letters / Developing Research Projects with Undergraduates/Diversity and Inclusion

Part 2. Mentoring Undergraduates: Handling Challenges,/Celebrating Successes/Diversity and Inclusion/Supporting Student Science Writing

Part 3. Undergraduate Researcher Panel Q&A

Workshop info – link


Article in Cell Reports by lab colleague Cees van der Poel

Article by lab colleague Cees van der Poel entitled “Follicular Dendritic Cells Modulate Germinal Center B Cell Diversity through FcgRIIB” is published in Cell reports (open access).

• Stromal FcγRIIB deficiency causes increased germinal center diversity
• Absence of FcγRIIB on Follicular Dendritic Cells (FDCs) supports persistence of low Somatic HyperMutation (SHM) B cell clones

Cell Reports 2019 C van der Poel

Class-switch recombination (CSR) of antibodies occurs prior to germinal center formation.

With great interest I’ve read the recent publication in Immunity that alters our current understanding of when class switch recombination (CSR) occurs. It was always believed that CSR and Somatic Hyper Mutation (SHM) occurred within the germinal center, but Roco et al. show that CSR actually occurs prior to germinal center formation and extrafollicular plasmablast induction. Signs of CSR can be detected as early as 1.5 days following immunization. This result explains why many IgM memory B cells can be found, as if CSR occured in the germinal center they would likely be skewed towards the same isotype. Overall, this new insight alters our current dogma of when we believe CSR occurs and opens up a specific window of when we could specifically intervene with CSR.

I briefly highlighted this new finding in a breaking news item on Immunopaedia, promoting immunology education worldwide.


Journal of Life Sciences (JoLS)

JoLS, a Journal of Life Sciences, is getting launched on June 1st 2019. JoLS is a postdoc community initiative and will be the first ever journal to be exclusively run and managed by postdocs! JoLS will provide postdocs the opportunity to obtain experience in reviewing, editing, managing, advising, and writing.
JoLS will provide professional peer-reviewed open access publications within the wide thematic scope of life science including all sub-disciplines.

The website is still under construction,, but will soon be fully operational.

Feel free to spread the message among your post-docs and hang or hand-out our Flyer at your institute.

Logo JoLS

HIV Cure Breaking News item

With great interest I’ve read the recent publication in Nature describing HIV remission following CCR5Δ32/32 allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), for the 2nd time. In this case a less toxic treatment regime was used in contrast to the 1st patient (‘Berlin patient’) ~10 years ago, who almost died from the treatment. It further shows that the ‘Berlin patient’ was not an anomaly and HIV cure can be achieved after allo-HSCT. A step closer to finding a cure for HIV.

I briefly highlighted this new finding in a breaking news item on Immunopaedia, promoting immunology education worldwide.


Completed Introduction to -omics Course

Online course (4-month) about the scope, analysis, and challenges of omics research, by Harvard Catalyst.

“Introduction to Omics Research is an online course designed to give participants an introduction to the principles, analytical methods, and challenges of omics research. The scope of the omics field will be explored, which includes genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. This course will touch upon the need for a foundational understanding of managing large omics datasets as these skills have become imperative for researchers in biology and medicine.”

Harvard Catalyst