CV Ger van Zandbergen


Ger van Zandbergen studied biology at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) and obtained his PhD in the Department of Nephrology at Leiden University under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Moh Daha on the topic: "IgA interaction with its Fc-alpha receptor, CD89." He then moved to the University of Lübeck as a postdoctoral fellow in 2000, focusing his research on infection immunology. There he worked on Leishmania interactions with human neutrophils, and also worked on Chlamydia by using the same model and visualized both infections by LIVE cell imaging. In 2007, he moved to the University Hospital of Ulm as a group leader. Here the models were extended to include human macrophages as host cells. In 2008 Ger van Zandbergen habilitated in the field of infection immunology with the topic: "Apoptosis-driven infections".

In 2011, Ger van Zandbergen became head of the Department of Immunology at the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Langen, Germany, and in 2014 he accepted the appointment as W2 Professor of Molecular Infection Immunology at the Medical Faculty of the University of Mainz. In Langen, the research spectrum of Ger van Zandbergen and his group has expanded to include interactions between infected human myeloid cells and T cells. At the Paul Ehrlich Institute, he is applying cutting-edge imaging techniques to study intracellular pathogens in living immune cells. Combining this with electron microscopic analysis of immune cell ultrastructure allows him to understand how intracellular pathogens inhibit an effective immune response. By genetically modifying primary human host cells and parasites, he and his group can manipulate receptor and resistance factors at the molecular level and study their function. His ultimate goal is to identify cellular factors that are instrumental in combating intracellular pathogens.

Within the priority program, his group will collaborate with Andreas Müller's group to investigate the relationship between the triggering of cell death, pathogen growth, and the exit of L. major from the infected cell.

Selected Publications:

  1. Turoňová B, Sikora M, Schürmann C, Hagen WJH, Welsch S, Blanc FEC, von Bülow S, Gecht M, Bagola K, Hörner C, van Zandbergen G, Landry J, de Azevedo NTD, Mosalaganti S, Schwarz A, Covino R, Mühlebach MD, Hummer G, Krijnse Locker J, Beck M (2020) In situ structural analysis of SARS-CoV-2 spike reveals flexibility mediated by three hinges. Science 370:203-208.
  2. Crauwels P, Bank E, Walber B, Wenzel UA, Agerberth B, Chanyalew M, Abebe M, König R, Ritter U, Reiling N, van Zandbergen G (2019) Cathelicidin Contributes to the Restriction of Leishmania in Human Host Macrophages. Front Immunol 10:2697.
  3. Arens K, Filippis C, Kleinfelder H, Goetzee A, Reichmann G, Crauwels P, Waibler Z, Bagola K, van Zandbergen G (2018) Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor α Therapeutics Differentially Affect Leishmania Infection of Human Macrophages. Front Immunol 9:1772.
  4. Filippis C, Arens K, Noubissi Nzeteu GA, Reichmann G, Waibler Z, Crauwels P, van Zandbergen G (2017) Nivolumab Enhances In Vitro Effector Functions of PD-1+ T-Lymphocytes and Leishmania-Infected Human Myeloid Cells in a Host Cell-Dependent Manner. Front Immunol 8:1880.
  5. Crauwels P, Bohn R, Thomas M, Gottwalt S, Jäckel F, Krämer S, Bank E, Tenzer S, Walther P, Bastian M, van Zandbergen G (2015) Apoptotic-like Leishmania exploit the host's autophagy machinery to reduce T-cell-mediated parasite elimination. Autophagy 2:285-297.
  6. Laskay T, van Zandbergen G, Solbach W (2008) Neutrophil granulocytes as host cells and transport vehicles for intracellular pathogens: apoptosis as infection-promoting factor. Immunobiology 3-4:183-191.
  7. van Zandbergen G, Bollinger A, Wenzel A, Kamhawi S, Voll R, Klinger M, Müller A, Hölscher C, Herrmann M, Sacks D, Solbach W, Laskay T (2006) Leishmania disease development depends on the presence of apoptotic promastigotes in the virulent inoculum. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103:13837-13842.
  8. van Zandbergen G, Klinger M, Mueller A, Dannenberg S, Gebert A, Solbach W, Laskay T(2004) Cutting edge: neutrophil granulocyte serves as a vector for Leishmania entry into macrophages. J Immunol 11:6521-6525.
  9. Laskay T, van Zandbergen G, Solbach W (2003) Neutrophil granulocytes – Trojan horses for Leishmania major and other intracellular microbes? Trends Microbiol 5:210-214.
  10. van Egmond M, van Garderen E, van Spriel AB, Damen CA, van Amersfoort ES, van Zandbergen G, van Hattum J, Kuiper J, van de Winkel JG.(2000) FcαRI-positive liver Kupffer cells: reappraisal of the function of immunoglobulin A in immunity. Nat Med 6:680-685.