Our website uses cookies. We use cookies to remember settings and to help provide you with the best experience we can. We also use cookies to continuously improve our website by compiling visitor statistics. Read more about cookies

Protein Facility

Antibodies and nanobodies are an increasingly important drug entity for cancer therapy and regenerative medicine. The Protein Facility of the Máxima facilitates research groups, that lack specialized protein engineering-related expertise, to leverage antibodies or antibody fragments for novel ideas. We particularly focus on innovative nanobody engineering for immunotherapy.
Purpose for research

At the Princess Máxima Center Protein Facility, we have broad expertise in protein/antibody biochemistry and engineering, including:

  • The expression, purification, and characterization of recombinant proteins (cytoplasmic, secreted, and membrane proteins) and antibodies.
  • In vitro display technologies (phage display, yeast display, and ribosome display) for antibody discovery and protein engineering.
  • Structure-function analysis of ligand-receptor interactions.

We collaborate closely with research groups inside and outside of the Máxima and other core facilities in different projects to leverage proteins and antibodies for innovative approaches to diagnose and treat childhood cancer.

Currently, we have ongoing projects on:

  • Developing nanobody-based radiotracers for non-invasive PET imaging and radioimmunotherapy (in collaboration with dr. Max van Noesel and dr. Alex Poot of the Theranostics Facility at UMC Utrecht).
  • Developing chimeric antigen receptors for CAR T-cell therapy (in collaboration with the CAR T- Cell Program, the Cell Therapy Facility, and the Single Cell Genomics Facility of the Princess Máxima Center).
  • Engineering ligands with novel signaling properties for enhancing organoid growth and modulating signaling pathways of interest for regenerative medicine.
  • Preparing recombinant proteins and enzymes for in vitro and in vivo functional studies.
Services and support

The Protein Facility offers service, training, and advice (depending on the need) to researchers from the Princess Máxima Center, project partners, and collaborators on a broad range of experiments, which include but are not limited to:

  • Expression, purification, and characterization of proteins and antibodies. We routinely express proteins in mammalian suspension cells (Expi293 and ExpiCHO cells) and bacterial cells (E. coli). If beneficial, we can also revert to insect cells (High Five and S2 cells) and yeast. We have several AKTA Pure Systems that can be equipped with a large range of columns, including size exclusion, affinity, and ion exchange chromatography for protein purification.
  • Generation of antibodies, nanobodies, and DARPins for protein targets. We have experience isolating diverse binders (scFvs, VHHs, DARPins, Affitins) from premade or custom-made libraries using phage display, yeast display, and ribosome display. Furthermore, we work closely with third parties to generate antibody fragments through immunization.

‘We use our expertise to interrogate questions in pediatric oncology from a new angle and to develop next-generation biologics and immunotherapies for cancer therapy.’ Dr. Claudia Janda - Coordinator Protein Facility
Dr. Claudia Janda
Dr. Claudia Janda is a protein biochemist with a strong background in structural biology protein and antibody engineering and has a deep interest in studying the structure-function relationship of ligand-receptor interactions, their downstream signaling and functional response. ‘Our research is driven by the vision to use our expertise in protein engineering to interrogate questions in pediatric oncology from a new angle and to develop next-generation biologics and immunotherapies for cancer therapy.’

This facility is embedded in the Janda group and made financially possible by donations of KiKA. Would you like to know more about the Protein Facility? Contact us by email for potential collaborations.

Protein facility