Daan Smits

PhD student
Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Research activities: 

The glycocalyx, a layer of extracellular sugars on almost all cells, is upregulated in most cancer types. Consequently it tends to reach hundreds of nanometers in thickness, potentially covering essential immune receptors. Therefore, we hypothesize that the glycocalyx (i) acts as a barrier for immune cell interaction, T-cell receptor signaling and effector function, yet (ii) can be exploited to improve immune recognition. We tackle (i) using co-culture of B16F10/OVA melanoma cells with OT1 cytotoxic T cells, where we manipulate the B16F10/OVA glycocalyx density by providing them different glucose levels, and (ii) through click-chemistry-based functionalization of the glycocalyx with immunomodulatory proteins.