“Immunomodulatory therapeutics and vaccines help our immune system to maintain and restore homeostasis.”

Research focus: immunology, autoimmunology, mucosal immunity, vaccines


Femke Broere is professor of Translational Immunology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine since 2018. Her research is primarily focused on chronic inflammation diseases and veterinary immunology.

Optimal response of the immune system

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.

The major interest of Broere is to understand how to steer the adaptive immune response towards the optimal response, essential for the development of novel immunotherapeutics to protect during inflammation and vaccination and to restore immunological homeostasis in chronic inflammatory diseases (e.g. allergy or autoimmunity). Regulatory cells on the one hand play a pivotal role in the protection against unwanted inflammatory responses and in maintaining immune homeostasis. On the other hand effector, cells are crucial for protection of the body against pathogenic microorganisms.


Insight into inflammation reactions

It’s vital that we obtain better insight into the mechanisms that underlay inflammatory reactions. 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 is what we want to study.

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. Broere is convinced that collaboration between pre-clinical and clinical research will help 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 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.

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