Partner 3 - Akademisch Ziekenhuis Groningen (UMCG)

Elisabeth Brouwer

Elisabeth Brouwer, MD, PhD

Principal Investigator

Leader WP3

Academisch Ziekenhuis Groningen,
University Medical Center Groningen 

Hanzeplein 1

9713GZ Groningen

The Netherlands


RELENT Team Groningen

Peter Heeringa

Prof. Dr. Peter Heeringa

Principal Investigator, immune regulation


Prof. Dr. Coen Stegeman

Principal Investigator, small vessel vasculitis

Bram Rutgers, MD, PhD

Clinical Immunologist/researcher

Jan-Stephan Sanders, MD, PhD

Clinical Immunologist/researcher

Prof. Dr. Mieke Boots


Wayel Abdulahad, PhD

Senior researcher

Institute presentation

The Vasculitis Expertise Center Groningen is a collaboration between clinical scientists and basic scientists in the departments of Nephrology, Pathology and Medical Biology and Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG).  It is a nationally and internationally recognized expertise center that aims to provide vasculitis patients the best possible care and to perform state-of–the-art (translational) research. (see also undefined The center has  particular expertise in large vessel vasculitis (LVV) and ANCA associated small-vessel vasculitides (AASV). Research within the “Vasculitis Expertise Center” focuses on both clinical and translational research and has made significant contributions to the diagnosis, treatment and understanding of the pathogenesis of vasculitis.

Main tasks attributed in the project

Partner UMCG will lead WP 03 - The ageing immune system and its relation to the development of autoimmunity and co-morbidities - and participate in WPs 01, 02 and 05.

Main personnel involved in the project

Elisabeth Brouwer MD PhD is a rheumatologist and internist with a degree in immunology. Her thesis was on the pathogenic potential of ANCA in AAV. She now focuses on GCA/LVV and PMR and the role of the ageing immune system in GCA/LVV and PMR. She initiated a longitudinal cohort study including clinical data collection and biobanking in order to address those issues.   Internationally, dr. Brouwer participates in the Outcome Measures for Large Vessel Vasculitis and PMR Delphi Survey and the OMERACT PMR group.

Peter Heeringa PhD is a renal immunologist with extensive expertise in basic vasculitis research. He has considerable expertise in immunology and is internationally known for his work on animal models for ANCA associated vasculitis.  His current research focuses on the role of ageing and immune regulation in the pathogenesis of vasculitis.

Coen Stegeman MD PhD is a nephrologist with a longstanding track record in AASV research. He was the first to report the link between S. Aureus carriage and AAV. He is a member of several national and international working committees involved in protocolizing treatment of vasculitides and to provide guidelines on diagnosis, treatment and follow up. An important focus of research activities is vasculitis disease activity monitoring, risk assessment and individualizing patient treatment in an attempt to further improve patient outcome.

Bram Rutgers MD PhD is an internist-clinical immunologist involved in treating patient with AASV and previously finished his PhD thesis on the role of neutrophil derived myeloperoxidase in immune mediated vascular diseases. He is currently involved in the  ACR/EULAR endorsed study to develop classification and diagnostic criteria for primary systemic vasculitis (,.

Jan Stephan Sanders MD PhD is a nephrologist with a particular interest in AASV. He is involved in both clinical and translational research projects in AAV and recently received research grants from the Dutch Kidney Foundation and the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMW). Dr Sanders is coordinating multiple clinical trials in AASV and renal transplantation.

Mieke Boots PhD is a cellular immunologist presently working as a full professor and principal Investigator at the UMCG in Groningen. Her main research topic is on the immunology of ageing in relation to the development of late onset autoimmune diseases. The focus of the research is on definition of (cellular) biomarkers as predictors of disease, relapse and recovery in giant cell arteritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and RA.

Wayel Abdulahad PhD is a senior researcher with a strong track record in T cell and B cell responses in ANCA-associated Vasculitides. His current research focuses on the effector/regulator cellular responses in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases, in particular ANCA-associated Vasculitides, Sjögren’s Syndrome, Ankylosing spondylitis, and Giant Cell Arteritis.

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