prof. drs. X. (Femke) van Zoethout

prof. drs. X. (Femke) van Zoethout

Full Professor
prof. drs. X. (Femke) van Zoethout
  • Center for Translational Immunology (CTI) Research



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 85 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 a member of the Utrecht Life Sciences (ULS) Program Board for the domain One Health, and scientific director FOCIS (federation of clinical immunology societies) center of excellence.

Side Activities

2016-2017 Scientific review panel member “off-road” grant program, The Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (NWO)

2017 Member of international advisory board new Allergy and Inflammation center Guangzhou Medical University, China (honorary)

2019 Scientific review panel member Sanofi Genzyme European innovation grant

2019 Scientific review panel member, Ørsted COFUND programme (co-funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions under H2020 )/ Technical University Denmark/ Denmark

2020 Scientific review panel member  H2020 FET-Open Challenging Current Thinking, the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC)

2021 Scientific review panel member The Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO)  TBM2021, Belgium

2018-current Member Utrecht Life Sciences Program Board, domain One Health (honorary)

2020 - current Scientific director FOCIS (federation of clinical immunology societies) center of excellence UMC Utrecht. (honorary)

2021-current Member scientific advisory committee "Samenwerkende Gezondheidsfondsen PPS Immunologie Consortia" (honorary)

2017-current Occasional consultant/speaker for Takeda, Johnson&Johnson, Janssen, Sanofi, Regeneron, VC lspvc 



Fellowship and Awards

ZonMw VICI (2021)

PhD Supervisor (co-promotor) of the year 2017, Graduate School of Life Sciences

Stimulerings Associate Professorship UMCU (2015)

ZonMw VIDI (2014)

ZonMw Veni (2010)

KNAW fellowship Ter Meulen Fund (2007)



Research Output (98)

Conserved human effector Treg cell transcriptomic and epigenetic signature in arthritic joint inflammation

Mijnheer Gerdien, Lutter Lisanne, Mokry Michal, van der Wal Marlot, Scholman Rianne, Fleskens Veerle, Pandit Aridaman, Tao Weiyang, Wekking Mark, Vervoort Stephin, Roberts Ceri, Petrelli Alessandra, Peeters Janneke G C, Knijff Marthe, de Roock Sytze, Vastert Sebastiaan, Taams Leonie S, van Loosdregt Jorg, van Wijk Femke Dec 2021, In: Nature Communications. 12 , p. 1-16

T-cell subsets in the skin and their role in inflammatory skin disorders

Kortekaas Krohn Inge, Aerts Joeri L, Breckpot Karine, Goyvaerts Cleo, Knol Edward, Van Wijk Femke, Gutermuth Jan 6 Oct 2021, In: Allergy. 77 , p. 827-842 16 p.

Unraveling heterogeneity in pediatric atopic dermatitis::identification of serum biomarker based patient clusters

Bakker D., de Graaf M., Nierkens S., Delemarre E., Knol E., van Wijk F., de Bruin-Weller M., Drylewicz J., Thijs J. Oct 2021, In: Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 141 , p. S189-S189

Conjunctival inflammation in dupilumab-treated atopic dermatitis comprises a multicellular infiltrate with elevated T1/T17 cytokines:A case series study

Bakker Daphne S., ter Linde José J.M., Amini Mojtaba M., Ariëns Lieneke F.M., van Luijk Chantal M., de Bruin-Weller Marjolein S., Thijs Judith L., Vercoulen Yvonne, van Wijk Femke 4 Sep 2021, In: Allergy. 76 , p. 3814-3817 4 p.

ZFP36 family members regulate the pro-inflammatory features of psoriatic dermal fibroblasts

Angiolilli Chiara, Leijten Emmerik F A, Bekker Cornelis P J, Eeftink Ella, Giovannone Barbara, Nordkamp Michel Olde, van der Wal Marlot, Thijs Judith L, Vastert Sebastiaan J, van Wijk Femke, Radstake Timothy R D J, van Loosdregt Jorg 30 Jul 2021, In: Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 142 , p. 402-413 12 p.

Early and Long-Term Effects of Dupilumab Treatment on Circulating T-Cell Functions in Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Atopic Dermatitis

Bakker D S, van der Wal M M, Heeb L E M, Giovannone B, Asamoah M, Delemarre E M, Drylewicz J, Nierkens S, Boyman O, de Bruin-Weller M S, Thijs J L, Wijk F van 18 Feb 2021, In: Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 141 , p. 1943-1953.e13

Tissue-Resident Memory T Cells in Chronic Inflammation-Local Cells with Systemic Effects?

Samat Anoushka Ashok Kumar, van der Geest Jolijn, Vastert Sebastiaan J, van Loosdregt Jorg, van Wijk Femke 16 Feb 2021, In: Cells. 10 18 p.

Longitudinal analysis of T-cell receptor repertoires reveals persistence of antigen-driven CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell clusters in systemic sclerosis

Servaas N H, Zaaraoui-Boutahar F, Wichers C G K, Ottria A, Chouri E, Affandi A J, Silva-Cardoso S, van der Kroef M, Carvalheiro T, van Wijk F, Radstake T R D J, Andeweg A C, Pandit A Feb 2021, In: Journal of Autoimmunity. 117 14 p.

Healthy cotwins share gut microbiome signatures with their inflammatory bowel disease twins and unrelated patients

Brand Eelco C, Klaassen Marjolein A Y, Gacesa Ranko, Vila Arnau Vich, Ghosh Hiren, de Zoete Marcel R, Boomsma Dorret I, Hoentjen Frank, Horjus Talabur Horje Carmen S, van de Meeberg Paul C, Willemsen Gonneke, Fu Jingyuan, Wijmenga Cisca, van Wijk Femke, Zhernakova Alexandra, Oldenburg Bas, Weersma Rinse K, 18 Jan 2021, In: Gastroenterology. 160 , p. 1970-1985 16 p.

Homeostatic function and inflammatory activation of ileal CD8+ tissue-resident T cells is dependent on mucosal location

Lutter Lisanne, Roosenboom Britt, Brand Eelco C, Ter Linde José J, Oldenburg Bas, van Lochem Ellen G, Horje Talabur Horjus Carmen S, van Wijk Femke 1 Jan 2021, In: Cellular and molecular gastroenterology and hepatology. 12 , p. 1567-1581 15 p.

All research output

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