Nina van Sorge

Title of talk: Sweet appearances: bacterial surface glycans at the host-pathogen interface.
Nina van Sorge is Associate Professor at the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Prevention at Amsterdam University Medical Center, The Netherlands. Research in her group aims to clarify the molecular pathogenesis of bacterial infections to identify new strategies, including vaccines, to prevent and combat bacterial infections. She specifically focusses on the human pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Group A Streptococcus (GAS) to elucidate how cell wall polysaccharides produced by these species impact recognition of by innate receptors and (vaccine-induced) antibodies. Overall, her work spans the entire spectrum from molecule to organism to patients. Dr. van Sorge is co-inventor for a patent on GAS vaccine development (WO2013/020090 A3), which is licensed and further developed by the pharmaceutical industry with financial support from Carb-X. In addition to her fundamental research activities, she is head of the Netherlands Reference Laboratory for Bacterial Meningitis (NRLBM), which performs the molecular epidemiology for the vaccine-preventable diseases caused by Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae b and Streptococcus pneumoniae and nation-wide surveillance of Groups A and B streptococcal isolates from invasive disease manifestations. The NRLBM receives, characterized and stores approximately 2,000 bacterial isolates from blood and cerebrospinal fluid annually, providing a comprehensive collection of clinically-relevant strains spanning several decades. This provides her with a unique position to connect molecular surveillance with fundamental research on invasive bacterial infections.
Selected publications
  • R. van Dalen, M.M. Molendijk, S. Ai, K.P.M. van Kessel, P. Aerts, J.A.G. van Strijp, C.J.C. de Haas, J. Codée, N.M. van Sorge#. Do not discard Staphylococcus aureus WTA as a vaccine antigen. Nature 2019 Aug; 572 (7767): E1-2. Epub 31 Jul 2019. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1416-8
  • R. van Dalen, J.S. De La Cruz Diaz, M. Rumpret, F.F. Fuchsberger, N.H. van Teijlingen, J. Hanske, C. Rademacher, T. B.H. Geijtenbeek, J.A.G. van Strijp, C. Weidenmaier, A. Peschel, D.H. Kaplan and N.M. van Sorge#. Langerhans cells sense Staphylococcus aureus wall teichoic acid through langerin to induce inflammatory responses. mBio 2019 May 14; 10(3). doi: 10.1128/mBio.00330-19
  • R.J. Edgar, V.P. van Hensbergen, A. Ruda, A. Turner, P. Deng, Y. Le Breton, N.M. El-Sayed, A.T. Belew, K.S. McIver, A.G. McEwan, A.J. Morris, G. Lambeau, M.J. Walker, J.S. Rush, K.V. Korotokov, G. Widmalm, N.M. van Sorge*, #, N. Korotkova*, #. Genetic insight into zinc and antimicrobial toxicity uncovers a glycerol phosphate modification on streptococcal rhamnose polysaccharides. Nat Chem Biol 2019 May; 15(5): 463-471. doi: 10.1038/s41589-019-0251-4
  • van Sorge, N*, #; Cole, J.*; Kuipers, K.; Aziz, R.; Kasirer-Friede, A.; Lin, L.; Berends, E.; Davies, M.; Dougan, G.; Zhang, F.; Dahesh, S.; Shaw, L.; Gin, J.; Cunningham, M.; Merriman, J.; Rooijakkers, S.; Malley, R.; Walker, M.; Shattil, S.; Schlievert, P.; Choudhury, B.; Nizet, V. (2014): The classical Lancefield antigen of Group A Streptococcus is a virulence determinant with implications for vaccine design. Cell Host Microbe, 15, 729-40. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2014.05.009
* Authors contributed equally; # corresponding author.