Undergraduate Grand Prize winners!

The autoimmune therapy of the future

The iGEM TU Eindhoven team consists of nine ambitious master’s and bachelor’s students with varied backgrounds ranging from expertise in biomedical engineering (modeling, programming chemical biology, synthetic biology, and organic chemistry) to experience with entrepreneurship, stakeholder co-creation, and graphic design.

A detailed, but concise overview of our project can be found on the Project Description page. Some important aspects that highly contributed to the development of our project and to our mission to make a societal impact are:


Currently, 3-5% of the world population is affected by autoimmune diseases.1,2


Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated Vasculitis (AAV) is a group of rare, but life-threatening autoimmune diseases characterized by tissue inflammation causing necrosis of blood vessels.3-5


There is a high unmet need in the current immunosuppressive treatments of AAV:


10-30% of the patients do not respond to the current drugs.6

50% of the patients have disease relapses after 5 years despite the immunosuppression.6


The treatment-related toxicity contributes to morbidity and disabilities.6

Multimorbidity, caused by the treatment-related toxicity, increases the healthcare expenditures.7



To overcome the shortcomings of the current therapies against ANCA-associated vasculitis, we designed !MPACT: a Modular and Personalized Autoimmune Cell Therapy.

A novel therapy for AAV, where immune cells of the patient will be harvested, genetically modified, and multiplied, after which the engineered cells will be injected back into the patient. This cell therapy will fight the inflammation upon activation of the cell by the disease marker ANCA.

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Fewer burdensome side effects, by a patient-specific treatment that acts locally in the body.


The early detection of disease markers and activation of the therapy will intervene relapses early on. This way, the disease relapse is prevented before it gets problematic.


Reduce healthcare workloads, by preventing further health damage and multimorbidity caused by AAV and its current treatments.


!MPACT is innovative and powerful since its therapeutic effect is personalized to the patient and !MPACT can detect and intervene disease relapses early on. This greatly contributes to the patient's quality of life and it reduces the high healthcare expenditures and workloads.

With !MPACT we strive to innovate autoimmune disease therapies. We hereby build towards a more healthy future.



We proudly thank all our sponsors. Without their support we would not have been able to achieve this project.

  1. Wang L, Wang FS, Gershwin ME. Human autoimmune diseases: A comprehensive update. J Intern Med. 2015;278(4):369-395. doi:10.1111/JOIM.12395
  2. Lerner A, Jeremias P, Matthias T. The world incidence and prevalence of autoimmune diseases is increasing. International Journal of Celiac Disease. 2015;3(4):151-155. doi:10.12691/ijcd-3-4-8
  3. Li J, Cui Z, Long JY, et al. The frequency of ANCA-associated vasculitis in a national database of hospitalized patients in China. Arthritis Res Ther. 2018;20(1):1-10. doi:10.1186/S13075-018-1708-7/TABLES/3
  4. Almaani S, Fussner LA, Brodsky S, Meara AS, Jayne D. ANCA-Associated Vasculitis: An Update. J Clin Med. 2021;10(7):10. doi:10.3390/JCM10071446
  5. Yates M, Wattsb R. ANCA-associated vasculitis. Clinical Medicine. 2017;17(1):60. doi:10.7861/CLINMEDICINE.17-1-60
  6. Smith RM, Jones RB, Jayne DRW. Progress in treatment of ANCA-associated vasculitis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2012;14(2). doi:10.1186/ar3797
  7. Sarica SH, Gallacher PJ, Dhaun N, et al. Multimorbidity in Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody–Associated Vasculitis: Results From a Longitudinal, Multicenter Data Linkage Study. Arthritis and Rheumatology. 2021;73(4):651-659. doi:10.1002/art.41557