Daan Hamstra

PhD student
IMM / Synthetic Organic Chemistry
Research activities: 

The most prevalent method to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is by administering small molecule disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Unfortunately, this can result in off-target effects, leading to either severe side effects or low efficacy. Therefore, my research project aims to develop an elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) nanoparticles platform that can transport (pro)drug molecules to sites of inflammation to treat RA. We want to design an ELP-nanoparticle nano-sponge that utilizes multi-valent targeting to capture extracellular PAD 2 and 4, thereby reducing the source of citrullinated autoantigens while circumventing unwanted side effects. Additionally, we want to construct an ELP-nanoparticle prodrug that utilizes cathepsin G, which is released during NETosis in the RA synovium, for proximal anti-inflammatory drug release.