FDG-PET image of a vasculitis patient with uptake (in black) showing inflamed arteries.
At the Vasculitis Expertise Center of the UMCG, we perform translational and clinical research with the overall aim to improve the care of patients with vasculitis.
We offer various types of projects, which can be tailored to your interests.
To learn more about vasculitis and our research, make sure to visit our website at www.vasculitiscentrum.nl.
If you would like to continue with research in our group upon completion of your project, it is possible to apply for a MD/PhD position.
Vasculitis is the name of a group of diseases in which the blood vessel wall becomes inflamed. Blood vessel inflammation can lead to blood flow obstruction, and organ/tissue damage. Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is the most common form of autoimmune vasculitis. It is a strictly aging-associated disease, since it only occurs after the age of 50. Involvement of cranial arteries may cause ischaemic complications such as irreversible blindness and stroke. Inflammation of large systemic arteries can result into formation of aortic aneurysms.
A timely diagnosis is important, since ischaemic complications may already develop early in the disease. An accurate diagnosis is also important to limit unnecessary exposure of patients to treatment. Since the 1950s, glucocorticoid therapy has remained the cornerstone of treatment for patients with giant cell arteritis. Unfortunately, many patients suffer from (substantial) side effects of this treatment. Currently, there is a need for better diagnostic tools and more targeted therapies for giant cell arteritis.
We address the following unmet needs for giant cell arteritis:
Visit our website to find specific information on our current research projects: https://www.vasculitiscentrum.nl/onderzoek-onderwijs/onderwijs
Interested students may work on one of the following project, or perhaps on the interface of two projects.
During your project, you will be supervised by a PhD student and you are invited to attend our weekly vasculitis meetings.
Research at the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology / Vasculitis Expertise Center of the UMCG is at the forefront of research on giant cell arteritis. Our groups publishes in high impact journals in the field of rheumatology and internal medicine 1-10.