Annemiek van Spriel

Member of the management team


Annemiek van Spriel (born 1973) is full Professor of Experimental Immunology at Radboud university medical center in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Her group focuses on understanding the biology of membrane protein organisation which ensures proper cell function. Her research has made fundamental contributions to comprehending the function of tetraspanin proteins in the immune system and in cancer cells. Her group discovered that tetraspanins can protect against development of B-cell lymphoma, and that impaired membrane organisation results in signalling defects and immune deficiencies. Her team combines fundamental cell biology with preclinical mouse models to unravel plasma membrane organisation in health and disease. The aim of her research is to unravel the molecular mechanisms that underlie tetraspanin microdomain function and signalling in immune cells in relation to the development of malignant disease.

Short CV

Annemiek van Spriel obtained her Master’s degree in 1996 from the University of Utrecht (cum laude) and her PhD degree in immunology in 2001 from the University of Utrecht. She pursued a long-term Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Leukocyte Membrane Laboratory of Ass. Prof. Mark Wright (Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia). In 2004, she joined the Tumor Immunology Department in the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS), and started her own research line focused on investigating tetraspanins in immune cells in relation to the development of cancer. She obtained several personal grants from The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF). In 2012, she organized the 5th European Conference on Tetraspanins in Nijmegen. She has been awarded the prestigious NWO-VIDI and Aspasia grants for her work on tetraspanin proteins in the immune system. In 2016 she received an ERC Consolidator Grant to conduct research on the plasma membrane of cancer cells, and in 2018 she was appointed as Full Professor of Experimental Immunology at Radboud University Medical Center.

Breakthrough Discoveries

  1. Discovery that absence of tetraspanin CD37 leads to spontaneous formation of B-cell lymphoma and predicts clinical outcome in patients (Journal Clinical Investigation 2016, Blood 2019)
  2. New model of the tetraspanin web on immune cells visualized by super-resolution imaging (Scientific Reports 2015, FEBS J 2020)
  3. Tetraspanins CD37 and CD53 are essential for optimal B cell responses (PloS Pathogens 2009, Science Signaling 2012, Science Signaling 2017, iScience 2020)
  4. Identification of cross-talk between Fc receptors and complement receptors that affects neutrophil function (Nature Medicine 2000, Blood 2001, Blood 2003)

Key Publications

Full publication list

  1. S van Deventer, A Arp, AB van Spriel. Trends Cell Biol 2020 In Press. Dynamic plasma membrane organization: a complex symphony. 
  2. S Elfrink, CM de Winde, M van den Brand, M Berendsen, M Roemer, F Arnold, L Janssen, A van der Schaaf, E Jansen, P Groenen, A Eijkelenboom, W Stevens, CJ Hess, JH van Krieken, JS Vermaat, A Cleven, R de Groen, V Neviani, D de Jong, S van Deventer, B Scheijen, AB van Spriel. Blood 2019:134(12):946-950. High frequency of inactivating tetraspanin CD37 mutations in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma at immune-privileged sites.
  3. M Zuidscherwoude, VE Dunlock, G van den Bogaart, SJ van Deventer, A van der Schaaf, J van Oostrum, J Goedhart, J in ‘t Hout, GJ Hammerling, S Tanaka, A Nadler, C Schultz , M Wright, M Adjobo-Hermans, AB van Spriel. Tetraspanin microdomains control localized protein kinase C signaling in B cells. Sci Signal 2017 ;10(478):eaag2755.
  4. CM de Winde, S Veenbergen, KH Young, Z Xu-Monette, X Wang, Y Xia, K Jabbar, M van den Brand M, A van der Schaaf, S Elfrink, I van Houdt, M Gijbels, F van de Loo, M Bennink, K Hebeda, P Groenen, JH van Krieken, CG Figdor, AB van Spriel. Tetraspanin CD37 protects against the development of B cell lymphoma. J Clin Invest 2016; 126:653.
  5. M Zuidscherwoude, F Göttfert, VM Dunlock, CG Figdor, G van den Bogaart, AB van Spriel. The tetraspanin web revisited by super-resolution microscopy. Sci Rep. 2015; 5:12201.
  6. AB van Spriel, de Keijzer S, van der Schaaf A, Gartlan KH, Sofi M, Light A, Linssen PC, Boezeman JB, Zuidscherwoude M, Beeren I, Cambi A, Mackay F, Tarlinton DM, Figdor CG, Wright MD. The tetraspanin CD37 orchestrates the a4b1 Integrin-akt signalling axis and supports long-lived plasma cell survival. Sci. Signal. 2012; 13:5(250):ra82

Team members


Abbey Arp, PhD student

Andrea Abel Gutierrez, PhD student

Martin ter Beest, senior researcher

Sjoerd van Deventer, Post-doc

Guus Franken, PhD student

Philipp Hagemann, Post-doc

Simar Pal-Singh, Post-doc

Rens Peeters, PhD student

Cesar Perez Martinez, Post-doc 

Fabian Schwerdtfeger, PhD student

Former team members:

Anne van Duffelen
Suraya Elfrink
Inge van Houdt 
Erik Jansen
Alie van der Schaaf
Fleur Schaper
Sharon Veenbergen
Lotte de Winde
Malou Zuidscherwoude