Background: Prof Annemieke M. H. Boots PhD is a cellular immunologist who graduated in the Life Sciences in 1985 and defended her thesis on peptide vaccine development in 1991 at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. She then joined Organon, a pharmaceutical company in the Netherlands to specialize in drug discovery for Rheumatoid arthritis/Cancer. In 2009 she was appointed adjunct professor at the Groningen University to liaise industry and academia in clinical translational research. In 2011 she left Industry and became a full professor and principal Investigator at the UMCG in Groningen. She teamed up with Dr Liesbeth Brouwer to initiate research on the contribution of immune aging to the development of large vessel vasculitis, a very serious disease occurring exclusvely in older adults.
Research Interests: The focus of the researchgroup is on definition of biomarkers as predictors of disease, relapse and recovery in giant cell arteritis and the overlapping condition polymyalgia rheumatica. The Groningen GCA/PMR/SENEX cohort was set-up in 2010 and participants are followed for clinical and immunological parameters over time. Scientific collaborations with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM, Bilthoven, The Netherlands) were set-up to study booster vaccinations in pre elderly individuals and to identify predictive immune biomarker profiles of frailty and morbidity with ageing. In 2015 our group partnered in the EU RELENT consortium to study the aging immune system in vasculitic diseases. Since 2019 we partner in the IMI-2 Consortium Vaccines and InfecTious diseases in the Ageing popuLation (VITAL) coordinated by the RIVM (Prof. Debbie van Baarle).