During his PhD in the group of Prof. Jo Van Ginderachter at the VIB Myeloid Cell Immunology Lab, in Brussels (Belgium) Jan Van den Bossche studied alternative macrophage activation. This work was funded by a personal FWO fellowship. Publishing 6 first-author articles allowed him to complete my PhD in 2011 (cum laude).  

As a postdoc in Prof. Menno de Winther’s group at Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, Jan started on an epigenetics project and supported by two prestigious personal grants (Netherlands Heart foundation postdoc grant (2013) and NWO VENI (2014)), he quickly started an independent research line on macrophage immunometabolism.  

In 2017, Jan started a Tenure Track as Assistant Professor at the Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology at Amsterdam UMC (VUmc), where he currently is Principal Investigator (Associate Professor) and leads the Macrophage Immunometabolism lab  

Research profile

Since publishing his Cell Reports paper on mitochondrial dysfunction in inflammatory macrophages in 2016, Jan Van den Bossche contributed to the growing appreciation that intracellular metabolic changes play a central role in shaping macrophage function and disease progression.

In 2017, Jan next teamed up with Luke O’Neill to outline key outstanding questions that we and others have been (and still are) tackling over the past years (Trend in Immunology). 

One of the future directions is the need to move immunometabolism research to the in vivo setting as was demonstrated in 2018 by revealing a critical in vivo connection between systemic metabolism, macrophage metabolism and function. Supported by a follow-up Netherlands Heart Foundation senior grant, Jan’s lab generated a new macrophage-specific ACLY-deficient mouse model to dissect the mechanisms by which metabolic changes are translated into altered macrophage function and disease progression in atherosclerosis, different cancers, sepsis and obesity.

Main research questions:


– Dissect the fundamental mechanisms by which immunometabolites including 2-hydroxyglutarate and itaconate regulate macrophages and disease outcome  

–  Target metabolic enzymes in macrophages to improve atherosclerosis and cancer outcome  

– Explore how immunometabolic changes in immune cell act as a translator between environment (diet, lifestyle, age), and the balance between health and disease.  

– Dissect how metabolic changes in tissue microenvironments affect immune cell function and disease progression  

ImmunoMetLab discovered the immunometabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2HG) as an anti-inflammatory feedback loop in macrophages, thereby underscoring that metabolites serve many functions beyond energy production and function as signalling molecules that regulate immunity

In parallel to these scientific discoveries, Jan strongly contributed technological developments by establishing a  toolbox of semi-high-throughput as well as single-cell-based immunometabolic profiling techniques that now allow to perform next-generation single-cell immunometabolism research

Positions and training

2022 – present Associate Professor (tenured) Immunometabolism Lab, Amsterdam UMC, NL

2018 – 2021 Assistant Professor (tenure track), Amsterdam UMC, NL

2015 – 2017 Junior Group Leader, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, NL


  • Initiator of ImmunoMetNet in the Netherlands, and Europe
  • Council member of EMDS (European Macrophage & Dendritic Cell Society)
  • Outreach activities for the European network for Immunometabolism