Prof. Yvette van Kooyk, Spinoza laureate and world expert in glyco-immunology, has unraveled how altered glycan structures dysregulate the immune system during the development of cancer, autoimmune disease and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS. She discovered that certain sugar molecules can stimulate – or, indeed, inhibit – communication between immune cells. Van Kooyk uses her knowledge to develop nano-medicines that support the immune system in its fight against cancer and dampen immunity in allergy.