Theo Rispens

Our research activities focus on the structure and function of immunoglobulins. Topics include:

  • Biology of IgG4 antibodies
  • Variable domain antibody /BCR glycosylation
  • Antidrug antibody responses & immunogenicity
  • Antibody formation against antibodies (including rheumatoid factors & anti-hinge Abs)


  • Clonal Ag-specific B cell characterisation & sequencing
  • (Recombinant) antibody engineering
  • Biophysical & immunochemical characterization of antibodies, immune complexes, and protein interactions
  • Development of novel immunoassays
  • Complement assays


Sanquin Research, Department of Immunopathology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Landsteiner Laboratory, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands


van de Bovenkamp FS, Derksen NIL, Ooijevaar-de Heer P, van Schie KA, Kruithof S, Berkowska MA, van der Schoot CE, H IJ, van der Burg M, Gils A, et al. Adaptive antibody diversification through N-linked glycosylation of the immunoglobulin variable region. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018.

van Schie KA, Kruithof S, van Schouwenburg PA, Vennegoor A, Killestein J, Wolbink G, Rispens T. Neutralizing capacity of monoclonal and polyclonal anti-natalizumab antibodies: The immune response to antibody therapeutics preferentially targets the antigen-binding site. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017.

Culver EL, Vermeulen E, Makuch M, van Leeuwen A, Sadler R, Cargill T, Klenerman P, Aalberse RC, van Ham SM, Barnes E, et al. Increased IgG4 responses to multiple food and animal antigens indicate a polyclonal expansion and differentiation of pre-existing B cells in IgG4-related disease. Ann Rheum Dis. 2015.

van Schouwenburg PA, Kruithof S, Votsmeier C, van Schie K, Hart MH, de Jong RN, van Buren EE, van Ham M, Aarden L, Wolbink G, et al. Functional analysis of the anti-adalimumab response using patient-derived monoclonal antibodies. J Biol Chem. 2014.

Lighaam LC, Vermeulen E, Bleker T, Meijlink KJ, Aalberse RC, Barnes E, Culver EL, van Ham SM, Rispens T. Phenotypic differences between IgG4+ and IgG1+ B cells point to distinct regulation of the IgG4 response. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014.


Karin van Schie: Immunogenicity of therapeutic antibodies: Immunological mechanisms & clinical consequences. Awarded: 2017

Gillian Dekkers: Influence of immunoglobulin G-glycan and subclass variation on antibody effector functions. Awarded: 2017

Current PhD projects

Sanne vd Bovenkamp: Variable domain glycosylation of IgG.

Willem Falkenburg: Characterization of RF and anti-hinge autoantibody responses in RA.

Laura Lighaam: Origin and fate of IgG4-switched B cells.

Iwan Kustiawan: Pro- and anti-inflammatory components in IVIG.

Jana Koers: Fab glycosylation: a novel mediator of humoral tolerance?

Lea Berkhout: Quantification of TNF load in patients treated with TNF inhibitors.

Vacancy: Rheumatoid factor revisited.