Sharon Veenbergen, Ph.D. - Medical Immunologist i.t.

Sharon Veenbergen, Ph.D

Medical Immunologist
Group leader Autoimmune Disease and Allergy Diagnostics
Department of Immunology

Autoimmune Disease and Allergy Diagnostics (AID) Research Group

The AID group focusses on innovative diagnostics and translational research in autoimmune-, inflammatory- and allergic disease. A broad range of state-of-the art laboratory technologies are available for the analysis of antibodies (directed against autoantigens, non-self antigens or allergen) as wel as soluble biomarkers in blood, CSF and other body fluids. Technologies routinely used include (indirect) immunofluorescence, immunoblotting, ELISA- and FEIA-based techniques, radio-immuno assay (RIA), microarray and multiplex technologies. In collaboration with multiple clinical and basic research partners, these broad-spectrum of diagnostic technologies are used to support different research projects in autoimmune-, inflammatory- and allergic disease.

Figure 1. A broad range of technologies are available within the AID group for the analysis of (auto)antibodies and other biomarkers in blood, CSF and other body fluids.

Major areas of research involve type 2 inflammatory diseases, connective tissue diseases, neurological disorders and ocular inflammatory diseases. Currently active studies focus on chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, systemic lupus erythematosus, autoimmune encephalitis and scleritis, among others. Our goals are to:

  1. Improve the quality of available (auto)antibody detection systems, often in collaboration with industry, ­and to develop and validate novel techniques for clinical and research application.
  2. Understand mechanisms that underlie disease and identify novel (auto)antibodies and other biomarkers in autoimmune-, inflammatory- and allergic disease.
  3. Investigate the role of (novel) biomarkers in disease processes in order to improve diagnostic and prognostic classification, and improved treatment stratification of such diseases.

The research projects are translational and multidisciplinary in nature. Solid and fruitful internal, national and international collaborations exist and are essential for innovation in research and technology.

The AID group is involved in international networks contributing to the improvement and standardization of laboratory technology for the analysis of (auto)antibodies. These networks include the European Autoimmunity Standardization Initiative (EASI) and the European Consensus Finding Study Group (ECFSG).

Group members

  • Sharon Veenbergen, Group leader
  • Daphne Vergouwen, PhD student
  • Sanae Boukhrissi, technician
  • Lisa Haasnoot, technician
  • Cindy Kneppers, technician
  • Claudia Kransse, technician
  • Jac Kuijpers-Entrup, technician
  • Zenovia Lourens-Florencia, technician
  • Elham Torabi-Azhandeh, technician
  • Annemarie Wijkhuijs, technician
  • Sharon Sengkerij, technician