Femke Broere DVM, PhD has been working at the faculty of veterinary Medicine since 2004. As group leader of the immunomodulation group she is responsible for the coordination of different PhD projects within the Immunology Division of the department of Infectious diseases and Immunology. She obtained her PhD in 2004 at the Free university of Amsterdam on the mucosal topic of “oral tolerance induction” in food allergy and has been interested in mucosal immunology and mucosal tolerance ever since.
Her research focusses of immunomodulation. Steering the adaptive immune response towards a desired response depending the immunological context is important for the development of novel therapies in both chronic inflammatory diseases and infectious diseases. Understanding which factors modulate the outcome of the adaptive immune response is key to their control and will aid fundamental understanding of the immune system and development of novel immunological therapies.
The mucosal immune system has to protect against invasion of potential harmful pathogens and prevent unwanted immune responses against innocuous antigens. To do so an anatomical distinct immune systems has evolved with compartmentalized induction and effector sites, populated by phenotypically and functionally distinct T and B cells. Successful mucosal vaccine development will depend on the ability to overcome the variety of mechanisms that exist to induce and maintain tolerance against innocuous antigens at the mucosal tissues. Thus, appropriate adjuvants and delivery systems will be crucial to steer the immune response to a protective mucosal cellular response to protect against pathogenic infections.