Maria Yazdanbakhsh

Titels Prof. dr.
Initials M.
Main position Hoofd Afdeling Parasitologie
Disciplines Immunology, serology
  Infections, parasitology, virology
Chair Cellulair Immunologie van Parasitaire Infecties
Domain Medical, Biomedical and Health Sciences
Membership Member
Since 2020
Member of
Member of Medical, Biomedical and Health Sciences
Employed by Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
Afdeling Parasitologie, P4-P
Albinusdreef 2,
2333 ZA Leiden
tel.  071 526 5067
Personal website

Maria Yazdanbakhsh studies the interaction between the human immune system and parasites. By combining challenging fieldwork in developing countries with advanced immunological techniques, she shows how pathogenic parasites can also have positive effects. Unlike people living in urban areas, for example, those living in rural communities are more exposed to microorganisms and parasites, causing a fundamental change in their immune system. As a result, vaccines may be less effective for them, but they are also less susceptible to chronic inflammatory diseases such as allergies, auto-immune diseases or type-2 diabetes. These findings are not only revealing but also open up opportunities to better understand diseases and manage them more effectively.