Luuk Hilbrands followed medical school at the Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands) and graduated in 1986. He was trained in internal medicine and nephrology and is also registered in clinical immunology. In 1996, he defended his Ph.D. thesis entitled “Immunosuppressive drug therapy after renal transplantation: balancing the benefits and risks.” Since 1996, he has been a staff member of the Department of Nephrology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre. In 2010, he was appointed as a Professor in clinical and experimental renal transplantation. His research interests include clinical and experimental topics in renal transplantation and immunobiology. In a mouse heart transplantation model, it was shown that costimulatory blockade allows the emergence of immunoregulatory mechanisms mediated by CD4+CD25+ regulatory T-cells. In the same model, it was demonstrated that pretreatment of recipients with alternatively activated dendritic cells (dexamethasone and LPS) resulted in prolonged graft survival of a completely MHC-mismatched heart allograft. Currently, he is investigating the role of chemokines in determining the immunogenic versus tolerogenic properties of dendritic cells. In the field of renal transplantation, his group has initiated and coordinated a number of clinical trials regarding the optimal use of new immunosuppressive drugs. They are now performing a large double-blind placebo-controlled trial on the efficacy and safety of the B cell depleting agent rituximab when added to standard immunosuppressive therapy. In parallel to these clinical studies, the effects of immunosuppressive drugs on T cells, with special emphasis on the facilitation of regulatory T cell function, are investigated. In 2010, he joined a national consortium investigating the relationship between the alloimmune and antiviral immune response.
Biography Updated on 3 January 2012