7 February 2018

Femke Broere appointed to new chair for Translational Immunology

The Executive Board has appointed Femke Broere as Professor of Translational Immunology at the Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunology (I&I) and the Department of Clinical Health of Companion Animals at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine as of 1 February. Her research will primarily focus on chronic inflammation diseases.

The immune system plays a major role in maintaining the self-regulating capacity (homeostasis) of living organisms. The cells of the adaptive immune system should keep away pathogens and other intruders and prevent chronic inflammations, but chronic inflammatory diseases are becoming an increasing problem, both in humans and in animals.

Insight into inflammation reactions

“It’s vital that we obtain better insight into the mechanisms that underlay inflammatory reactions,” says Femke Broere. “Chronic inflammatory diseases, such arthritis are increasingly common in the Western world, and around 1% of the world population suffers from it. We have observed a similar condition in companion animals as well. Moreover canine atopic dermatitis, an allergic reaction in the skin, is a problem that is known to affect 10-15% of all dogs. These conditions are caused by the improper activation of the immune system. How to restore the immune balance in these diseases it what we want to study.”    

I think that working together will help us to move farther in future immune system research

Connecting fundamental and clinical research
The Translational Immunology chair fits within three of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine’s research themes: One Health, One Medicine and Veterinary Biomedicine. The focus of the chair’s research will lie on connecting fundamental and clinical research for a variety of animal species and disciplines, and clinical applications of new therapies that restore the immune system’s self-regulating ability.  

“The thing I like best about the appointment is the interaction between the departments within the faculty, and the link between pre-clinical and clinical research”, Broere says. “I think that working together will help us to move farther in future immune system research.”

Femke Broere (1976) studied Medical Biology at the University of Amsterdam. She earned her Master’s of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University in 2017. She had already earned a PhD at the VU Amsterdam in 2004, on her research into regulatory T-cells in oral tolerance. Since then, she has worked as a researcher at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicines Chronic Inflammatory Diseases research group. She has been a member of the KNMvD since 2014, and she is also a member of the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Immunologie (NVvI) and the Veterinary Immunology Teaching Network.