Jørgen de Jonge (1975) is head of the department Immune mechanisms – Immunological Models (IIM) within the Center for Immunology of Infectious diseases and Vaccines (IIV) and an expert in viral immunology in preclinical models.

Within the department IIM, we aim to gain insight in the immune mechanisms that protect us against infectious diseases, mainly respiratory viral infections. We utilize in vitro and animal models as well as clinical material to improve our understanding of the immune response to vaccination and infection. We study factors that may influence the immune response, such as aging and circadian rhythm (Teun Guichelaar) and the microbiome (Susana Fuentes). We investigate virus-host interactions in the airways and antibody-mediated immunity beyond binding and neutralization (Puck van Kasteren) and broadly-reactive immunity to rapidly evolving viruses (Jørgen de Jonge). Our knowledge supports advise on optimizing vaccination strategies and implementation of new vaccines

Jorgen de Jonge

I am intrigued by the race between rapidly evolving viruses and the complex immune system and how we can activate the latter to induce broad immunity to changing viruses or newly emerging variants



The projects in Jørgen’s research group focus on understanding broadly reactive immunity that could protect us from rapidly evolving and zoonotic viruses, like influenza and corona viruses. Immunity directed against conserved epitopes may play an important role in this protection and involves both cellular as humoral immune mechanisms. To acquire a deeper understanding these immune mechanisms and their role in protection, we utilize different vaccine platforms, animals models that adequately translate results to humans and human material obtained from clinical studies.


Jørgen de Jonge graduated as a biochemist at the University of Groningen. He obtained his PhD in 2007 at the faculty of Medical Sciences at the at the University Medical Centre of Groningen (UMCG) on viral vesicles (virosomes) as delivery vehicles for nucleic acids into cells. In 2006 he joined Solvay Pharmaceuticals as a preclinical scientist influenza vaccines and moved to the Netherlands Vaccine Institute (NVI) in 2008 where he started setting up the ferret model for influenza vaccine evaluation and performed viral safety risk assessments for vaccines. He took part in the WHO Global Action Plan (GAP) for influenza vaccines and several international consortia (FluSecure, IMECS, ITPIV, AMPVACS and FASTVAC) to perform preclinical studies in collaboration with several vaccine developing institutes. In 2011 the department became part of the RIVM and, while continuing vaccine evaluation studies in different consortia, his research started to focus more on immune mechanistic questions underlying broadly reactive immunity. Since 2021, he has become head of the department IIM.

Area of expertise

  • Viral immunology
  • Respiratory viruses (Influenza and SARS-CoV-2)  
  • Preclinical models

Team members

  • Caroline Melo de Boaz (post doc)
  • Afshin Zariri (post doc)
  • Harry van Dijken (research assistant)
  • Floor Peters (research assistant)
  • Lisa Wijsman (research assistant)
  • Nafsika Kardomatea (PhD student)

Former team members

  • Koen van de Ven (PhD)
  • Josien Lanfermeijer (PhD)
  • Sietske Rosendahl-Huber (PhD)
  • Femke de Heij (research assistant)
  • Sanne Spijkers (research assistant)
  • Justin Mouthaan (research assistant)

Key publications


Modified influenza M158–66 peptide vaccination induces non-relevant T-cells and may enhance pathology after challenge. Lanfermeijer J, van de Ven K, van Dijken H, Hendriks M, Talavera Ormeño CMP, de Heij F, Roholl P, Borghans JAM, van Baarle D, de Jonge J. NPJ Vaccines. 2023 Aug 12;8(1):116. doi: 10.1038/s41541-023-00705-y.

A universal influenza mRNA vaccine candidate boosts T cell responses and reduces zoonotic influenza virus disease in ferrets. van de Ven K, Lanfermeijer J, van Dijken H, Muramatsu H, Vilas Boas de Melo C, Lenz S, Peters F, Beattie MB, Lin PJC, Ferreira JA, van den Brand J, van Baarle D, Pardi N, de Jonge J. Sci Adv. 2022 Dec 14;8(50):eadc9937. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.adc9937.

Pathology and Immunity After SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Male Ferrets Is Affected by Age and Inoculation Route. van de Ven K, van Dijken H, Wijsman L, Gomersbach A, Schouten T, Kool J, Lenz S, Roholl P, Meijer A, van Kasteren PB, de Jonge J. Front Immunol. 2021 Oct 21;12:750229. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.750229.

Systemic and respiratory T-cells induced by seasonal H1N1 influenza protect against pandemic H2N2 in ferrets. van de Ven K, de Heij F, van Dijken H, Ferreira JA, de Jonge J. Commun Biol. 2020 Oct 9;3(1):564. doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-01278-5.

H7N9 influenza split vaccine with SWE oil-in-water adjuvant greatly enhances cross-reactive humoral immunity and protection against severe pneumonia in ferrets. de Jonge J, van Dijken H, de Heij F, Spijkers S, Mouthaan J, de Jong R, Roholl P, Adami EA, Akamatsu MA, Ho PL, Brunner L, Collin N, Friede M, Ferreira JA, Luytjes W. NPJ Vaccines. 2020 May 11;5(1):38. doi: 10.1038/s41541-020-0187-4.


E-mail: info@rivm.nl