• Molecular interactions
  • Cell/membrane topography 
  • Tumor immunology
  • TCR signaling















Zsolt Sebestyén obtained his PhD in Hungary at University of Debrecen, where he became fascinated by biophysical techniques that he learned to use to study molecular interactions in living cells. He was further trained in the Babraham Institute In Cambridge (UK) and later at the ErasmusMC in Rotterdam (NL) where he as postdoctoral fellow has studied the molecular needs of genetic engineering of T cells for the immunotherapy of cancer. He continued his career at the UMCU in Utrecht, where he was appointed in 2014 as staff member of Section Applied within the Laboratory of Translational Immunology. He is currently focusing on the molecular mechanisms of innate T cell and tumour cell interactions.    

Research Projects

  • Tumour recognition of innate immune cells
  • Immune receptors
  • Genetic engineering

Personal Fellowships & Awards


Scientific Publications

  • T-cell synapse formation depends on antigen recognition but not CD3 interaction: studies with TCR:ζ, a candidate transgene for TCR gene therapy. Sebestyén Z, Roszik J, Govers C, Guri Y, Szöor A, Pályi-Krekk Z, Vereb G, Nagy P, Szöllosi J, Debets R. Eur J Immunol. 2011;41(5):1288-97.
  • An oncolytic adenovirus redirected with a tumor-specific T-cell receptor. Sebestyen Z, de Vrij J, Magnusson M, Debets R, Willemsen R. Cancer Res. 2007;67(23):11309-16. 
  • Human TCR that incorporate CD3zeta induce highly preferred pairing between TCRalpha and beta chains following gene transfer. Sebestyén Z, Schooten E, Sals T, Zaldivar I, San José E, Alarcón B, Bobisse S, Rosato A, Szöllosi J, Gratama JW, Willemsen RA, Debets R.J Immunol 2008;180(11):7736-46. 
  • Hunting for clinical translation with innate-like immune cells and their receptors. Scheper W, Gründer C, Straetemans T, Sebestyen Z, Kuball J. Leukemia. 2013. 
  • Scheper W, van Dorp S, Kersting S, Pietersma F, Lindemans C, Hol S, Heijhuurs S, Sebestyen Z, Gründer C, Marcu-Malina V, Marchant A, Donner C, Plachter B, Vermijlen D, van Baarle D, Kuball J. Leukemia. 2013;27(6):1328-38 


projects and grants

  • 2014-2015 Lady Tata Memorial Trust: Exploiting gdTCR and their ligands for tumor immune therapies (applicant)
  • 2015-2018 AICR 15-0049: Regulation of g9d2TCR mediated recognition by small GTPases (co-applicant)
  • 2015-2019 UU 2014-6790: TRANSIT: Towards the next generation of an engineered immune system (co-applicant)