Luciën van der Vlugt, PhD

Research Fellow, Internal Medicine


Luciën E.P.M. van der Vlugt joined the lab as a post-doctoral fellow in January 2016. She grew up in Ter Aar, the Netherlands, and earned her master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Leiden, the Netherlands in December 2008. After her graduation, she started her PhD in January 2009 at the department of Parasitology at the University of Leiden under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Maria Yazdanbakhsh and Dr. Hermelijn Smits. Her research project was part of a program aiming at understanding the interactions between the host and helminth infections and their subsequent role in the protection against allergic disorders. Her work focused primarily at understanding the role of helminth-induced IL-10-producing regulatory B (Breg) cells in both murine models and in humans. From 2014 till 2016, Luciën worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the department of Pulmonology of Prof. Dr. Pieter Hiemstra, while finishing her thesis. Here, she was involved in a project investigating how farms can protect against childhood asthma, by studying the effect of farm dust on the airway epithelial cell function. In February 2015, she earned her Ph.D from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands.

Research Interests

Our primary goal is to improve treatment of allergic diseases by targeting allergen-specific T cells using regulatory antigen presenting cells, particularly killer B cells that express the death-inducing molecule, Fas ligand. 


• Flowcytometry (Calibur, Canto, LSRII): intra/extracellular stainings and FlowJo analysis
• Cytokine detection: ELISA and Luminex
• In vitro assays: murine and human cells (B cells/T cells/PBMCs/DCs/primary bronchial epithelial cells) and cell isolation (PBMCs) or purification using MACS beads or sorting
• Epithelial barrier function assays: ECIS, T.E.E.R, permeability assays, cigarette smoke and rhinovirus-induced model
• Confocal microscopy
• Cell death assays, proliferation assays
• Molecular techniques: qPCR (Bio-Rad), Western blot
• Animal handling: anaesthetics, i.v/i.p/i.t/i.n. injections, adoptive transfer experiments, allergy models, helminth infections
• Field work in Gabon


June 2015 Travel grant from the NVVI for visiting ECI Vienna 2015 congress
April 2015 Nominated for the audience award at the Lung days organized by the Dutch Lung Foundation (LF)
September 2012 Travel grant from the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS) for visiting ECI Glasgow 2012 congress
February 2011 Travel grant from the NVP (Dutch society of Parasitology) for visiting Keystone B cells Whistler, Canada. A report about this meeting is posted on the website of the NVP
March 2010 Best poster prize at the congress World Immune Regulation Meeting IV: Innate and Adaptive Immunoregulatory Mechanisms
March 2010 Travel grant from the NVVI for visiting the WIRM IV. A report about this meeting is posted on the website of the NVVI


* H.H. Smits, L.E.P.M. van der Vlugt et al., Childhood allergies and asthma: New insights on environmental exposures and local immunity at the lung barrier, Curr Opin Immunol. 2016 May 30;42:41-47
• U. Ateba-Ngoa, G. Mombo-Ngoma, E. Zettlmeissl, L.E.P.M. van der Vlugt et al., CD4+CD25hiFOXP3+ cells in cord blood of neonates born from filaria infected mother are negatively associated with CD4+Tbet+ and CD4+RORγt+ T cells, PLoS One. 2014 Dec 22;9(12)
• Luciën E.P.M. van der Vlugt, Jeannot F. Zinsou et al., IL-10-producing CD1dhi B cells from Schistosoma haematobium-infected individuals induce IL-10-producing T cells and suppress effector T cell cytokines, J Infect Dis. 2014 Oct 15;210(8):
• Luciën E.P.M. van der Vlugt, Simone Häberlein et al., Toll-like receptor ligation for the induction of regulatory B cells, Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1190:127-41
• Luciën E.P.M. van der Vlugt*, Eline Mlejnek* et al., Less IL-10 producing CD24hiCD27+ regulatory B cells in response to LPS in allergic asthmatic patients, Clin Exp Allergy. 2014 Apr;44(4)
• Lucja A. Labuda, Ulysse Ateba-Ngoa, Eliane Ngoune Feugap, Jorn J. Heeringa, Luciën E. P. M. van der Vlugt et al. Alterations in peripheral blood B cell subsets and dynamics of B cell responses during human Schistosomiasis, PLoS Negl Trop Dis 7(3): 2013 March
• Luciën E.P.M. van der Vlugt*, Susanne Sattler* et al., Book Immune system, Chapter Regulatory B cells - implications in allergy and autoimmunity, InTech Open Access, 2012 May; 9
• Luciën E.P.M. van der Vlugt, Lucja A. Labuda et al., Schistosomes induce regulatory features in human and mouse CD1dhiB cells: inhibition of allergic inflammation by IL-10 and regulatory T cells, PLoS One, 2012 Feb; 7 (2)
• Leonie Hussaarts , Luciën E.P.M. van der Vlugt et al., Regulatory B-cells induction by helminths: implications for allergic disease, J. Allergy Clin. Immunology, 2011 Oct;128(4):733-9
• Alwine Hellingman, Luciën E.P.M. van der Vlugt et al., A limited role for regulatory T cells in post-ischemic neovascularization, J. Cell. Mol. Med. 2012 Feb; 16 (2)