Quantitative Immunology

Jose Borghans

Our Research

Our major research line encompasses the quantification of leukocyte dynamics. Despite enormous advances in the field of immunology, many quantitative insights in immunology are still badly lacking, including the expected lifespan of different types of leukocytes, the contribution of thymus and bone marrow output to leukocyte homeostasis, and changes in lymphocyte diversity during ageing. This lack of information hampers our understanding of the immunological changes occurring in health and disease.
We aim to reveal such quantitative insights using an interdisciplinary approach, in which experimental immunologists and mathematicians work together on a daily basis. Mathematical models are not only used to interpret the experimental data, but also to optimize the design of new experiments, thereby creating an iterative cycle between maths and experiments. Using in vivo stable isotope labelling we study the daily production rates of different types of leukocytes, how they are maintained during healthy ageing, and how these processes are disturbed in diseases such as leukemia, HIV infection, and after haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation.
In order to “bring maths to the lab”, I am heading the Computational Immunology Core at the Center for Translational Immunology, which helps fellow researchers perform computational analyses on their experimental data, amongst others by developing user-friendly pipelines and by teaching researchers how to perform such analyses.

Research Group

Jose Borghans
Group name: Leukocyte Dynamics Group
Research field: Quantitative Immunology


Lundlaan 6
3508 AB
Building: Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital (WKZ)