Dr. C.A.M. (Xander) de Haan is associate professor of molecular influenza virology at the Virology Division of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. His group particularly focuses on the molecular biology of influenza A viruses, with an emphasis on the (evolution of) interactions of these viruses with sialoside receptors and the consequences thereof for tropism, antigenicity and pathogenesis. These virus-receptor interactions are, among others, being studied using recombinant soluble mimics of the envelope glycoproteins in combination with different functional assays as well as (recombinant) viruses using various infection assays as well as biolayer interferometry. In addition, the group works on the development of novel influenza vaccines. Xander published over 115 articles in international journals and has an h-index of 37. He is the recipient of the Beijerinck Premium (2006), a bi-annual award from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences for the most promising young virologist, and received several prestigious open competition grants from the Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (NWO).
About Utrecht University
The Utrecht University (UU) is the top Dutch university (Shanghai Ranking), while its Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FVM) belongs to the top 5 veterinary research institutes in the world. The UU offers 45 undergraduate and 167 graduate programs, has some 30,000 students served by 7,500 academic staff, and has 6 graduate schools. The ESR will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Life Sciences. The Virology division of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine studies various viruses (picornavirus, coronavirus, influenza) at the level of molecules, cells, tissues, and organisms, to unravel the structure of these viruses and to identify their cellular receptors, entry pathways, replication mechanisms, assembly and release pathways, immune evasion strategies, as well as the mechanism of disease caused by these viruses (i.e. pathogenesis). Furthermore, based on our intensive studies in glycans (e.g. sialic acids) as virus receptor, we have established strong scientific and technological expertise in the field of “glycovirology”. Our ultimate goal is to translate the knowledge that we obtain into the development of novel vaccines, antiviral therapies, and diagnostic tools. The Virology Division is headed by Prof. Frank van Kuppeveld.