Profile photo Femke van Wijk

Femke van Wijk

Full Professor

Strategic program(s):


Dr. van Wijk obtained her PhD on mechanisms of oral tolerance and allergic sensitization to peanut at the Utrecht University in 2006. After her first postdoctoral training in human immunology in the lab of Prof. B. Prakken at the UMCU she obtained a KNAW fellowship for a 2-year postdoc in the lab of Prof. H. Cheroutre in the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in La Jolla (USA) to work on tissue T cell adaptation . After being awarded a VENI personal fellowship, she moved to the UMCU to start her own research group. For her research on how antigen presenting cells sabotage T cell regulation in local inflammation van Wijk was awarded a prestigious ZonMw VIDI career development grant (2014), and in 2021 she received a ZonMw VICI grant for her work on naïve T cell imprinting and immune development. Her research program aims to elucidate tissue T cell responses in health and inflammation and to translate these insights into tools for (pre-clinical) disease monitoring and therapeutic targeting in chronic inflammatory diseases.  She takes a disease- and age-overarching approach to decipher common and specific pathogenic processes underlying different inflammatory conditions and one of her specific interests is early imprinting of disease. Diseases her group is working on include atopic dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, juvenile dermatomyositis and immune toxicity following immune therapy in cancer.

 Dr. van Wijk is the author of >100 publications in leading peer-reviewed journals and has extensive experience with national and international scientific advisory committees (NWO off-road program, samenwerkende gezondheidsfondsen PPS Immunology consortia, Sanofi type 2 innovation grant, EU Horizon 2020 REA-FET-OPEN and COFUND). She is participating in several international networks including T_CELL_CONNECT_EUROPE, Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine, and Understanding Childhood Arthritis Worldwide Network that are aimed at (international) exchanges and training of young scientists, knowledge sharing, and enhancing reproducibility of human data. In 2017 Dr. van Wijk received the PhD supervisor of the year award by the Utrecht University Graduate School of Life Sciences.

Dr. van Wijk is also manager research for the division paediatrics at the UMCU , and scientific director FOCIS (federation of clinical immunology societies) center of excellence.

Research groups

Inflammatory bowel diseases

Research aim

Our research is focused on the elucidation of the pathogenesis of Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), personalized medicine and on a severe complication of IBD: colitis-associated colorectal carcinoma.
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Tissue immunology

Research aim

Our mission is to comprehensively understand, monitor, and target immune-mediated inflammatory diseases such as IBD, AD and systemic autoimmune diseases. We aim to unravel (tissue) immune dysregulation and induce long-lasting disease modification.
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Primary immunodeficiency

Research aim

To address unmet medical needs by detecting novel primary immunodeficiency, and improving clinical practice by optimizing diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of disease.
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Recent publications

Clinical and translational attributes of immune-related adverse events Karijn P M Suijkerbuijk, Mick J M van Eijs, Femke van Wijk, Alexander M M Eggermont
Nature Cancer, 2024, vol. 5, p.557-571
JAK Inhibition with Baricitinib for Severe CVID-Related Enteropathy Amir Abdelmoumen, Joris van Montfrans, Femke van Wijk, Helen Leavis
Journal of Clinical Immunology, 2023, vol. 43, p.1766-1769
Author Correction: Regulatory T cells in psoriatic arthritis: an IL-17A-producing, Foxp3intCD161 + RORγt + ICOS + phenotype, that associates with the presence of ADAMTSL5 autoantibodies Juliëtte N. Pouw, Michel A.M. Olde Nordkamp, Tessa van Kempen, Arno N. Concepcion, Jacob M. van Laar, Femke van Wijk, Julia Spierings, Emmerik F.A. Leijten, Marianne Boes
Scientific Reports, 2023, vol. 13, p.1-1
Conventional dendritic cells type 1 are strongly enriched, quiescent and relatively tolerogenic in local inflammatory arthritis Arjan Boltjes, Anoushka Ashok Kumar Samat, Maud Plantinga, Michal Mokry, Bas Castelijns, Joost F. Swart, Sebastiaan J. Vastert, Menno Creyghton, Stefan Nierkens, Jorg van Loosdregt, Femke van Wijk
Frontiers in Immunology, 2023, vol. 13
Dupilumab-associated ocular surface disease in atopic dermatitis patients Roselie Achten, Judith Thijs, Marlot van der Wal, Chantal van Luijk, Marlies de Graaf, Daphne Bakker, Joke de Boer, Femke van Wijk, Marjolein de Bruin-Weller
Allergy, 2023, vol. 78, p.2266-2276
Highly multiplexed spatial analysis identifies tissue-resident memory T cells as drivers of ulcerative and immune checkpoint inhibitor colitis Mick J.M. van Eijs, José J.M. ter Linde, Matthijs J.D. Baars, Mojtaba Amini, Miangela M. Laclé, Eelco C. Brand, Eveline M. Delemarre, Julia Drylewicz, Stefan Nierkens, Rik J. Verheijden, Bas Oldenburg, Yvonne Vercoulen, Karijn P.M. Suijkerbuijk, Femke van Wijk
iScience, 2023, vol. 26

Fellowships & Awards

2023: NWO Athena Award

2021: VICI laureate

2017: PhD supervisor (co-promotor) of the year

2016: Strategic Network Development grant Singapore UMC Utrecht

2015: stimulering Associate Professorship

2015: ASPASIA beurs toekenning

2014: VIDI laureate

2010: Veni laureate

External positions

Visiting Professor, Guangzhou Medical University