Rik A. Brooimans, PhD

Laboratory specialist Medical Immunology
Laboratory Medical Immunology, Department of Immunology
Functional Immunodiagnostics (FID) Research


Functional Immunodiagnostics (FID) Research

Research activities in the FID group focuses on development of novel methods to study inherited diseases of the immune system and validate them for clinical and research applications. A second area of research focuses on development and clinical validation of new cellular tests to study IgE and non-IgE mediated drug hypersensitivity reactions.

Diagnostics of defects in Innate Immunity

Various cells (e.g., neutrophils, macrophages, and NK cells), proteins (e.g., complement and cytokines), and receptors (TLRs) and other pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) comprise innate host defense. The research in our group aims at implementation of novel methods to study inherited defects of the innate immune system.

Characterization of Antigen (Ag)-specific T cells by flow cytometry

Absence and/or dysfunctional T lymphocytes are one of the important causes in the pathogenesis of ‘Immunodeficiencies affecting cellular and humoral immunity’ and in ‘Combined immunodeficiencies with associated or syndromic features’. Antigen-specific T cells play a central role in mediating specific immune responses as well as in the formation of immunological memory. Information about their frequencies, phenotypes, and functional capacities is essential to estimate the specific immune status of an individual. In this research we focus on development of flow cytometry based assays to allow the direct quantification and characterization of antigen-specific T cells.

Drug hypersensitivity reactions

Diagnosis of drug hypersensitivity reactions (DHR) is based upon history taking, skin tests and quantification of drug-specific IgE antibodies. Unfortunately, this is often insufficient to correctly identify patients with IgE-mediated DHR and impossible for non-IgE mediated DHR. So far no clear monitoring markers in both skin and blood helps to discriminate between immediate and non-immediate DHRs. The gold standard remains the drug provocation test, which is expensive, time consuming, with a risk of an anaphylactic reaction.

To complement in vivo testing, our research activities focuses on development and clinical validation of new cellular tests to study IgE and non-IgE mediated DHR, using basophil activation tests (BAT) and lymphocyte proliferation tests (LPT/LTT) respectively.

Group members

  • ​Rik Brooimans, Principal investigator
  • Corrien Groot, Technician
  • Dicky van Duyvenbode, Technician
  • Andre Bijkerk, Technician​

Selected Publications