ESR 10: Pharmacokinetics and immunogenicity of therapeutic antibodies in inflammatory bowel disease and spondyloarthritis: A RESEARCH PROJECT ON THE EDGE BETWEEN GASTROENTERLOGY AND RHEUMATOLOGY

PhD research


Prof Dr Geert D’Haens

Gastroenterologist| Professor

Dr Marleen van de Sande

Rheumatologist| Assistant professor| PhD


Amsterdam University Medical Centers (location AMC)

Meibergdreef 9

105AZ  Amsterdam

The Netherlands

Duration: 48 months


Therapeutic antibodies have become the cornerstone of effective treatment in inflammatory diseases of joints and gut. Several challenges, however, remain poorly investigated such as the prevention and treatment of immunogenicity, optimal dosing schedules and prediction of response/failure to individual mode of actions. The current project will investigate these questions in a collaborative project in inflammatory bowel disease and spondyloarthritis patients.


Key objectives are : 1. Analyzing epigenetic profiles predicting response and failure to biological treatments. 2. Evaluate changes in immunogenicity to TNFi before and after adding methotrexate. 3. Analyze the difference in lymphoid tissue response to TNF inhibitors in patients with and without immunogenicity 4. Analyze difference in lymphoid tissue response in Crohn ‘s patients with and without fistula’s before and after treatment.

Our research team

It is our ambition to improve treatment outcome by personalized treatment choices based on molecular profiles as well as by optimizing dosing strategy and prevention of loss of efficacy due to immunogenicity. Within the AMC there is a close collaboration between the departments of rheumatology and gastroenterology. We are embedded in the Amsterdam Infection and Immunity research Institute as well as in the Amsterdam Gastroenterology and Metabolism research institute and Tytgat institute. We have access to high quality core research facilities of the AMC. This provides an excellent multidisciplinary research environment which form a basis for fruitful scientific collaborations between clinicians and basic scientists on our translational research projects. Prof Geert D’Haens is gastroenterologist and global key opinion leader in inflammatory bowel disease with a strong translational and pharmacokinetic profile. Dr. Marleen van de Sande is rheumatologist and has a translational research line on immunopathogenesis of very early spondyloarthritis. This project will be performed in close collaboration with ARCAID PI’s dr. Lisa van Baarsen (transciptomics, lymph node tissue responses), and with the radiology department.

Your profile

  • We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher with:

    • - A master degree in Biomedical Sciences, with affinity for translational research, and an interest in immune mediated inflammatory diseases. .
    • - Experience with cellular responses and molecular biology
    • - You enjoy collaborating with both clinicians and basic scientists, and are able to work independently as well as in a team.
    • - You have excellent communications skills in English, both written and verbal.

Our offer

All ARCAID ESRs receive a full employment contract for 4 years, according to the Collective Employment Agreement (CAO) of the Dutch University Medical Centres. The monthly salary based on a 36-hour work starts from €2.422,- with yearly increments to a maximum of € 3.103,-. This 4-year PhD position is funded by the  Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions of the European Union's Horizon 2020 COFUND program under grant agreement No 847551. There is no separate budget available for mobility as it is already included in the ESR salary. ESRs may attend external courses, conferences or workshops. If applicable or required, additional expenses for training and conference participation and the travel to a Partner Organisation will be covered by the project. The ESR salary meets the requirements of the Dutch Immigration Department to allow family members to move to the Netherlands. It is at the convenience of the ESR to decide on this family movement since the Amsterdam UMC will not cover additional expenses regarding mobility of spouse nor for the required accompanying residence permits. In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will have the opportunity to attend international progress meetings, scientific conferences and summer schools. Additionally, they benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses. See recruitment procedure.

Your application

See recruitment procedure. You can apply using the online application form. For more information about the position you can contact Geert D’Haens (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).