Institute of Cellular Medicine

Staff Profile

Dr Catharien Hilkens

Reader in Immunotherapy

Background

Introduction

I did my PhD research at the University of Amsterdam, where I worked on regulation of T cell immunity by dendritic cells. I then was awarded an EMBO fellowship to work on understanding how cytokines regulate T cell- and dendritic cell- function at Cancer Research UK laboratories in London. In October 2003 I joined Newcastle University, where I run a research group studying mechanisms underlying immune tolerance, and the development of dendritic cells as an immunotherapeutic tool.

Qualifications

PhD in Immunology, University of Amsterdam 1997

Previous Positions

1998-2003 Post-doctoral fellow at Cancer Research UK London Research Institute
1997-1998 Post-doctoral associate at the University of Amsterdam

Memberships

British Society for Immunology

Research

Research Interests

I am an Immunologist with research expertise in dendritic cell biology and immune regulation. My aims are twofold and interleaved:
i) To develop and implement a new cellular therapy with tolerogenic dendritic cells for rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases caused by a breakdown in immune tolerance.
ii) To understand the mechanisms underlying immune regulation by dendritic cells in order to fuel and improve new areas of translational research.

Funding

My work is funded by the Arthritis Research UK, Medical Research Council, BBSRC, European Commission and the JGWP Foundation.

Teaching

Postgraduate Teaching

- I supervise PhD and MRes students.
- I am module leader and teach at the  'Applied Immunobiology' MRes

Undergraduate Teaching

- I teach at the 3rd year  'Immunology in health and disease' module

Publications