Leiden University Medical Center


Principal Investigator: Tom Huizinga (rheumatology), René Toes (immunology)

Main tasks in the project and previous experience relevant to those tasks:

The Dept. of Rheumatology will contribute through its clinical expertise in RA- and SLE and fundamental know-how on auto-antibodies and immune regulation. The dept. houses a unique early arthritis biobanks as well as clinical databank established in 1993 which incorporates over 2500 patients. This partner possesses large experience in the development of targeted therapies in autoimmune diseases, particularly in rheumatology. The department has been a major participant in the development of current targeted therapies (mainly TNF blockade). The partner possesses broad experience in genetic epidemiology, use of clinical cohorts to study aetiology of pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, development of targeted therapies by means of clinical trials, as well as immunology and genetics. The unit also has also extensive experience in contributing to the commercialisation of targeted therapies and biotechnologies. The department aims to understand the pathogenic pathways operative in Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is achieved by combining clinical and basic science. The department works closely with the department of statistics which is focussed on the development of statistical models concerning extensions of established statistical tools like logistic regression, survival analysis and repeated measures models, as well as innovative research on validation of prognostic statistical model and models for complex data such as pedigree data, multi-state follow-up data and random effects models for repeated measurements.

Moreover the department has several animal models running to enhance understanding of pathogenesis of RA. Advanced Data Management is an integral part of this department and data management tools via Internet, especially for complex (inter)national studies and registries are supported.

Short profile of the staff who will carry out the work:

Tom Huizinga, MD, prof, rheumatology (M)
Rene Toes, PhD, prof, Immunology (M)
Leendert Trouw, PhD, Immunololgy(M)
Annemie Schuerwegh, MD, PhD, Rheumatology/Immunology (F)
Jeanine Houwing-Duistermaar, PhD. Statistics and Biostatistics (F)
Andreea Ioan-Facsinay, PhD, Immunology, (F)
Annette van der Helm, MD, PhD, Rheumatology (F)
Desiree van der Heijde, MD, PhD, Prof. Rheumatology (F)
Sasha Zhernakova, PhD, Genetics, (F)