Pediatrician – Oncologist / Immunologist. Medicine (UMC Utrecht 1996), PhD in Amsterdam (University of Amsterdam/Academic Medical Center; 1999), trained as a paediatrician in Leiden (Leiden UMC)/Den Haag; Juliana Children’s Hospital; 2004) followed by completion of clinical fellowship in immunology (2006; UMC Utrecht) and oncology (2011; ErasmusMC, Rotterdam). My clinical sub-specialization is Hemapoietic Cell Transplantation (HCT) and I am working as a consultant in HCT at the UMC Utrecht since 2006.
I have a special interest in rare-diseases (as indication for HCT) in particular “lysosomal storage diseases” and finding strategies to get better disease control (in malignant diseases). My research group (Group Boelens / Nierkens: U-DANCE) focuses on the development of cord blood derived dendritic cell vaccines (anti-AML, anti-Neuroblastoma). In addition there is a special interest designing a predictable low toxic conditioning regimen using PK/PD-models for e.g. ATG (anti-thymocyte globuline) to better predict the immune-reconstitution (necessary for optimal effect vaccines). 4 PostDocs, 6 PhD students and 3 technicians are working in my group. Current active funding: 4.5M (grants from ZonMW: cumm. 2.2M, Kika, Villa Joep, Ammodo, Vrienden UMC). Am a frequently invited speaker on international conferences and have over 120 peer-reviewed publications and I am (co-)PI on various phase I/II with ATMPs.