Natalija Van Braeckel-Budimir, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
3-501 Bowen Science Building
51 Newton Road
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242-1109

Lab: 319-335-9919
Fax: 319-335-9006


2012 Ph.D. University of Groningen
2008 Research assistant, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade
2005 M.Sc. Molecular Biology and Physiology, University of Belgrade


The focus of my research is to broaden our understanding how tissue resident memory CD8+ T cells (Trm) are generated and maintained in the context of various localized infections. My main interest is on studying fundamental biological properties of lung Trm populations induced by influenza virus infection. Answering questions such as 1) what underlies the transient nature of influenza-induced lung Trm, and 2) how are the fundamental properties of lung Trm, e.g. duration, maintenance, recruitment, functionality, shaped by multiple infections, can provide important information to be used for advancing current vaccines and immunization regimes.

Furthermore, I am interested in studying the protective CD8 T cell response against liver-stage Plasmodium infections using a mouse model system. Identifying the mechanisms of immunosuppression induced by blood stage malaria can help us understand why sterilizing immunity is never achieved in human subjects living in malaria endemic areas and can potentially inform rational vaccine design.

Selected Publications Pubmed

  1. Van Braeckel-Budimir N, Varga SM, Badovinac VP, Harty JT. Repeated Antigen Exposure Extends the Durability of Influenza-Specific Lung-Resident Memory CD8(+) T Cells and Heterosubtypic Immunity. Cell Rep. 2018 Sep 25;24(13):3374-3382.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.08.073
  2. Van Braeckel-Budimir, N., S. Gras, K. Ladell, T.M. Josephs, L. Pewe, S.L. Urban, K.L. Miners, C. Farenc, D.A. Price, J. Rossjohn, J.T. Harty (2017) A T Cell Receptor Locus Harbors a Malaria-Specific Immune Response Gene. Immunity, 2017 DOI:10.1016/j.immuni.2017.10.013 PMCID: PMC5724374 [Available on 2018-11-21]
  3. *Slutter B, *Van Breackel-Budimir N, Abboud G, Salek-Ardakani S, Varga SM, Harty JT. Dynamics of influenza-induced lung-resident memory T cells underlie waning heterosubtypic immunity. Science Immunology 06 Jan 2017: Vol. 2, Issue 7, PMCID: PMC5590757
  4. Van Braeckel-Budimir N, Harty JT. Influenza-induced lung Trm: not all memories last forever. Immunol Cell Biol. 2017 Sep;95(8):651-655. doi: 10.1038/icb.2017.32. Epub 2017 Apr 13. Review. PMID: 28405016
  5. Van Braeckel-Budimir N, Martin MD, Hartwig SM, Legge KL, Badovinac VP, Harty JT. Antigen Exposure History Defines CD8 T Cell Dynamics and Protection during Localized Pulmonary Infections. Front. Immunol., 27 January 2017 | PMCID: PMC5269565
  6. Van Braeckel-Budimir N*, Kurup SP*, Harty JT. Regulatory issues in immunity to liver and blood-stage malaria. Curr Opin Immunol. 2016 Jun 25;42:91-97. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2016.06.008. Review. PMID: 27351448
  7. Van Braeckel-Budimir N, Harty JT. CD8 T-cell-mediated protection against liver-stage malaria: lessons from a mouse model. Front Microbiol. 2014 Jun 6;5:272. PMCID: PMC4047659
  8. Budimir N, de Haan A, Meijerhof T, Gostick E, Price DA, Huckriede A, Wilschut. J. Heterosubtypic cross-protection induced by whole inactivated influenza virus vaccine in mice: influence of the route of vaccine administration. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2013 Nov;7(6):1202-9. doi: 10.1111/irv.12142. Epub 2013 Sep 16. PubMed PMCID: PMC4112805
  9. Budimir N, de Haan A, Meijerhof T, Waijer S, Boon L, Gostick E, Price DA, Wilschut J, Huckriede A. Critical role of TLR7 signaling in the priming of cross-protective cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses by a whole inactivated influenza virus vaccine. PLoS One. 2013 May 2;8(5):e63163. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063163. Print 2013. PMCID: PMC3642048.
  10. Budimir N, Huckriede A, Meijerhof T, Boon L, Gostick E, Price DA, Wilschut J, de Haan A. Induction of heterosubtypic cross-protection against influenza by a whole inactivated virus vaccine: the role of viral membrane fusion activity. PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e30898. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0030898. Epub 2012 Jan 27. PubMed PMID: 22303469; PMCID: PMC3267744.
  11. Budimir N, Meijerhof T, Wilschut J, Huckriede A, de Haan A. The role of membrane fusion activity of a whole inactivated influenza virus vaccine in (re)activation of influenza-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Vaccine. 2010 Dec 6;28(52):8280-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.10.007. Epub 2010 Oct 19. PubMed PMID: 20965298.

*Equally contributing authors