Geert van den Bogaart
has been awarded an ERC Proof of Concept grant to link his research on peptide-based vaccins to the market. The top-up grant, worth EUR 150,000, is to help explore the commercial or societal potential of findings, thus progressing ground-breaking research towards innovation.
The grant is open only to researchers who have previously been awarded an ERC research grant. In 2019,
Van den Bogaart was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant
of EUR 2 million to study why immune responses against pathogens are made selectively in cases of infection, while autoimmune diseases are prevented.
Van den Bogaart is Professor in Molecular Immunology at the
Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology
(Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen) since 2018.
Peptides have great potential for vaccines. Peptide-based vaccines aim to enhance the immune response by using peptides that activate pathogen/cancer-recognizing T cells. Despite numerous studies showing immunogenicity in preclinical settings, peptide-based vaccines have failed to show efficacy in clinical trials. One reason for this is that the T cells are exposed to insufficient amounts of peptides. In his Proof of Concept project, Van den Bogaart will explore a novel approach to increase the amount of peptides necessary.
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