Profile photo Haitjema


Associate Professor

Strategic program(s):


dr. Saskia Haitjema (1988) is an associate professor at the Central Diagnostic Laboratory and head of the Utrecht Patient Oriented Database (UPOD). She studied Medicine and Linguistics at Utrecht University and obtained her PhD in Experimental cardiology in 2017. During her PhD she studied sex-differences in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease using large datasets, as a first step in precision medicine.

Her current research focuses on improving diagnostics using data analytics to further personalize healthcare. She collaborates in multidisciplinary teams to address diagnostic problems inside and outside the UMC Utrecht, specifically using a unique set of routine hematology characteristics. The processing of routine care data into meaningful data to create value using the learning healthcare system approach is one of the cornerstones of her lab.

Between 2017 and 2020, dr. Haitjema co-lead the corporate Applied Data Analytics in Medicine program of the UMC Utrecht (now: Digital health department). She has supervised three PhD candidates and currently supervises seven. She obtained research funding from ZonMw, HealthHolland and currently participates in six different European research and innovation projects.

As a (guest) lecturer for Utrecht University and the Dutch national Academy for Digitalization and Computerization, dr. Haitjema aims to demystify the current technological advances in artificial intelligence and digital health for students and Ministry staff. At the Dutch Research Council, dr. Haitjema participates in the VENI and Off-Road committees.

Dr. Haitjema aims to actively connect data scientists, healthcare professionals and researchers and established a vibrant data science community in the UMC Utrecht in the SIG Clinical Data Applications of the Focus Area Applied Data Science of Utrecht University. She is involved in strategic meetings and expert panels on digital health inside and outside the UMC Utrecht. With the Dutch Ministry of Health she developed an AI development tool for healthcare, including legislation and state-of-the-art practices.

Recent publications

The´╗┐ accumulation of erythrocytes quantified and visualized by Glycophorin C in carotid atherosclerotic plaque reflects intraplaque hemorrhage and pre-procedural neurological symptoms Joost M Mekke, Tim R Sakkers, Maarten C Verwer, Noortje A M van den Dungen, Yipei Song, Clint L Miller, Aloke V Finn, Gerard Pasterkamp, Michal Mokry, Hester M den Ruijter, Aryan Vink, Dominique P V de Kleijn, Gert J de Borst, Saskia Haitjema, Sander W van der Laan
Scientific Reports, 2023, vol. 13
Asking informed consent may lead to significant participation bias and suboptimal cardiovascular risk management in learning healthcare systems Anna G M Zondag, T Katrien J Groenhof, Rieke van der Graaf, Wouter W van Solinge, Michiel L Bots, Saskia Haitjema, , Marielle H Emmelot-Vonk
BMC Medical Research Methodology, 2023, vol. 23
Lipoproteins act as vehicles for lipid antigen delivery and activation of invariant natural killer T-cells Suzanne E Engelen, Francesca A Ververs, Angela Markovska, B Christoffer Lagerholm, Jordan M Kraaijenhof, Laura Ie Yousif, Yasemin-Xiomara Zurke, Can Mc Gulersonmez, Sander Kooijman, Michael Goddard, Robert J van Eijkeren, Peter J Jervis, Gurdyal S Besra, Saskia Haitjema, Folkert W Asselbergs, Eric Kalkhoven, Hidde L Ploegh, Marianne Boes, Vincenzo Cerundolo, G Kees Hovingh, Mariolina Salio, Edwin Ca Stigter, Patrick Cn Rensen, Claudia Monaco, Henk S Schipper
JCI Insight, 2023, vol. 8
Characteristics of peripheral blood cells are independently related to major adverse cardiovascular events after carotid endarterectomy L. Malin Overmars, Joost M. Mekke, Wouter W. van Solinge, Saskia C.A. De Jager, Cornelia A.R. Hulsbergen-Veelken, Imo E. Hoefer, Dominique P.V. de Kleijn, Gert J. de Borst, Sander W. van der Laan, Saskia Haitjema
Atherosclerosis Plus, 2023, vol. 52, p.32-40
Routine Lupus Anticoagulant Sensitive aPTT Testing Can Prevent Unnecessary LA Testing Bob Smit, Francisca Hudig, Jan Hendrik Venhuizen, Saskia Haitjema, Maarten Limper, Rolf Urbanus, Albert Huisman
Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hemostasis, 2023, vol. 29
Bi-allelic variants in NAE1 cause intellectual disability, ischiopubic hypoplasia, stress-mediated lymphopenia and neurodegeneration Irena J.J. Muffels, Imre F. Schene, Holger Rehmann, Maarten P.G. Massink, Maria M. van der Wal, Corinna Bauder, Martha Labeur, Natalia G. Armando, Maarten H. Lequin, Michiel L. Houben, Jaques C. Giltay, Saskia Haitjema, Albert Huisman, Fleur Vansenne, Judith Bluvstein, John Pappas, Lala V. Shailee, Yuri A. Zarate, Michal Mokry, Gijs W. van Haaften, Edward E.S. Nieuwenhuis, Damian Refojo, Femke van Wijk, Sabine A. Fuchs, Peter M. van Hasselt
American Journal of Human Genetics, 2023, vol. 110, p.146-160

External positions

Chair, Nederlandse Vereniging voor Dans- en Muziekgeneeskunde