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Development of novel broadly protective anti-influenza virus strategies

This project is part of the overarching project 'ACZI - Innovative antibody-based strategies to combat future emergence of zoonotic viral infections'.


2019 – 2023

Group and collaboration

Collaboration: C.A.M. (Xander) de Haan (UU), Frank van Kuppeveld (UU), Berend Jan Bosch (UU)
PhD student: Mirte Pascha

PhD defence

Dissertation: Broadening the antiviral landscape for influenza A virus

Date: 29 February 2024

Project description

Despite the possibly devastating consequences, the world is not well prepared for newly emerging zoonotic viruses with epidemic/pandemic potential. To increase our pandemic preparedness, we urgently need preventive antiviral strategies with broad-range efficacy to control future emerging zoonotic viruses, including influenza A viruses. To this end, we aim to identify broadly neutralizing/protective antibodies, nanobodies and antivirals and the epitopes on hemagglutinin or neuraminidase that they target. The applicability of these antiviral agents as broadly protective therapeutics and diagnostic tools will be explored. Importantly, the identification of broadly protective epitopes will also guide vaccine antigen design. Together with novel antigen presentation and immunization strategies, we additionally aim to develop more broadly protective vaccines for these important pathogens.


  • Development novel antivirals, nanobodies, and antibodies and improved vaccination strategies

Disease Intervention Strategies is the overarching theme for more than 10 PhD tracks in NCOH projects to create new interdisciplinary, inter-thematic, and inter-institutional research collaborations.

PhD student interview

Interview: ‘The coronavirus pandemic emphasized the importance of my research’

To fight current and future pandemics more effectively, Mirte Pascha closely studies the influenza virus. The corona pandemic underlines the importance of her work.


Project news

PhD Defence: Broadening the antiviral landscape for influenza A virus

On 29 February, Mirte Pascha successfully defended her thesis entitled: ‘Broadening the antiviral landscape for influenza A virus- Glycoprotein-targeted approaches to infection prevention and treatment’ at Utrecht University.