National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheiden Milieu, RIVM) is a governmental research and knowledge institute with 1500 employees providing policy support to the Dutch government. RIVM performs tasks to safeguard and promote public health and environmental quality in the Netherlands. In its role as trusted advisor, RIVM provides the government and the Health Council with impartial advice on infectious diseases, vaccination programmes, population screening, life style, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, environment, sustainability, safety and security. RIVM also carries out activities for other international organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and OECD. Moreover, RIVM transfers knowledge specifically aimed at capacity and institution building in for instance pre‐accession countries and developing countries. The independent position of RIVM is set down in statutes.
Research activities at RIVM that are relevant to the PERISCOPE project include strain selection and characterisation for human challenge studies, natural infection studies, vaccine studies in (neonatal) children and adults, measurement of systemic immune responses by standardised multiplex immune assay and development and use of a number of B- and T-cell assays.
Dr Cécile van Els is an immunology expert and coordinator of Strategic Vaccine Research at RIVM. She has a research focus in biodynamics of immune responses to pathogens and vaccines and in immunoproteomics.
Dr Guy Berbers is biochemist and vaccine expert at RIVM. He has conducted clinical vaccine studies with primary focus on the optimisation of the current national immunisation program and immunology of pneumococcal, meningococcal and pertussis vaccinations in infants and children.