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Following an intensive multi-year planning process, the two Amsterdam academic hospitals the Academic Medical Center (AMC) and VU Medical Center Amsterdam (VUMC) have merged into Amsterdam University Medical Centers (Amsterdam UMC). This enables both Amsterdam university medical centers to further develop their core business together: complex patient care, scientific research, and education & training. Amsterdam UMC kickstarts a gradual process of continuous integration. Initially, this will be most visible in two sectors: patient care and scientific research. Amsterdam UMC is already home to eight integrated research institutes (visit www.amsterdamresearch.org). By joining forces, these research institutes can organize their scientific research more efficiently and they can become a more attractive partner for large-scale, international and multi-year study all over the world. This is an interesting development for students and researchers, both within and outside the country.

The Amsterdam UMC is a synergy of knowledge and expertise in the fields of autoimmune rheumatic diseases and immunology. At both AMC and VUMC and collaborating institutes and partners, the translational platforms for true bench-to-bedside development of the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics for the autoimmune rheumatic diseases are being developed. These efforts do not only need to be reinforced but also provide a strong base to train the next generation of translational researchers.