BPRC PhD student obtains doctorate at Utrecht University

10 Nov 2020 | Back to News, Publications and Annual Reports



‘Exploring protective and pathogenic immune responses in the non-human primate model of tuberculosis.’ This is the title of the thesis for which Dr. Karin obtained her PhD. In this thesis she describes how, with the help of a macaque model, she has obtained new insights into protective and pathogenic immune responses in tuberculosis.

Unfortunately, research on tuberculosis is still important. This disease, which is the result of an infection with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), causes more than 1.5 million deaths every year. There is no effective vaccine, there is a lack of accurate diagnostics and knowledge about protective immunity. This prevents effective control of tuberculosis.

Alternative vaccination route

Through modeling and researching tuberculosis in non-human primates, Dr. Karin addresses these problems in her thesis and at the same time refines and improves the model. One important finding was that administration of two separate tuberculosis vaccines in the lung resulted in a unique local immune response and better protection against infection and disease, compared to vaccination via the skin. This offers new perspectives in the fight against this serious disease.

Dr. Karin defended her work with gusto in the senate hall of the Academy Building. She is now continuing her tuberculosis research in Denmark at the Statens Serum Institut as a post-doctoral researcher.