Can KesmirDr. Can Keşmir
Theoretical Biology & Bioinformatics
Utrecht University
Padualaan 8
3584 CH Utrecht
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 30 253 4212
Fax:   +31 30 251 3655

Curriculum Vitae

Can Kesmir studied Computer Science at the Bosphorus University in Istanbul and Chemical Engineering in Danish Technical University. She performed her graduate research at the Danish Technical University as well and received her Ph.D. in 1999. As a postdoctoral fellow she worked in the laboratory of Prof. Soeren Brunak, Center for Biological Sequence Analysis, in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2006, she started her own research group at the Department of Biology at Utrecht University. In 2007, she received an High Potential award from Utrecht University.

Research summary

The major assignment of an immune system is to defend the host against infections, a task which clearly is essential for any organism. Immunological bioinformatics is a new field, and its main focus has been (so far) to get better insights into the specificity of the molecules involved in antigen presentation and processing pathways. In our group we study the evolution and functional specificity of immune responses. The immune system does not react to entire pathogens but rather to parts of these called epitopes. We develop methods that can be used to identify antigenic regions in basically any genome, and to study the correlation between genetic factors and infectious diseases. This data-driven approach is focused on the human and mouse immune systems, and is recently extended to non-human primates. Besides evolutionary studies, the methods developed (see Servers) can be used in designing vaccines for devastating infectious diseases. We are using bioinformatics to study the evolution and specifity of immune responses.

The Immunological Bioinformatics Group is part of Theoreotical Biology and Bioinformatics.

Lab members


  • Chris van Dorp
  • Ewald van Dyk


For a list of our publications, please follow this pubmed link.