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Marca Wauben

Marca Wauben Ph.D.

IMGC Team:


Marca Wauben is Full Professor in intercellular communication at the Department of Biomolecular Health Sciences, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. She is a pioneer in EV research and an expert in deciphering the role of nano-sized cell-derived vesicles (EVs) in intercellular communication in biological systems with emphasis on the immune system. The Wauben EV Lab unveiled novel aspects of EV-mediated communication involved in immune regulation and on the regulation of EV release, EV cargo (proteins, RNAs and lipids) and targeting. Several milk-EV oriented research projects, some in collaboration with industry partners (e.g. Danone-Nutricia research and Friesland Campina), led to the development of tailored protocols for milk storage for EV research and milk EV isolation methods. Proteomic analysis of human milk EVs led to the identification of a ‘novel functional milk proteome’, while the analysis of the small RNA content of milk-derived EVs identified highly conserved miRNA species. The Wauben EV lab reported that milk EVs have immune modulatory capacities and can increase epithelial barrier formation and performs integrated multi-omics and functional analysis of milk EV-mediated effects to unveil function-cargo relationships. Besides investigating fundamental immunological and regenerative aspects of EV-mediated communication, the Wauben EV Lab works on EV-based biomarker discovery, (therapeutic) EV applications and the development of (nano)technology to analyze EVs, e.g. high resolution flow cytometry-based technology enabling single EV-based analysis and sorting. Wauben is author of over n=150 peer reviewed scientific publications and (Co-)recipient of multiple EV-based research grants, e.g. FP7 EU COST Action Microvesicles and Exosomes in Health and Disease (2012; vice-chair), H2020-MSCA-ITN-2016 TRAIN-EV research & training Network (722148) (2017) and H2020-FETOPEN The EV Foundry (801367)(2018). She has been/and is involved in many national and global initiatives to build a scientific community centered around EV-biology; e.g. the founding of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV), the scientific journal “Journal of Extracellular Vesicles”, the founding of the ISEV-ISAC-ISTH EV flowcytometry working group ( and the founding of the Netherlands Society for Extracellular Vesicles (NLSEV) in 2018 (founding President). She is co-chair of the ISEV Milk EV Task Force and member of ISEV Regulatory affairs & clinical use of EV-based therapeutics Task Force. In 2019 she was awarded the ISEV special Achievement Award and in 2020 the ISEV life-time membership Award.