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Prof. J.W.J. Bijlsma (1950) has been appointed professor of Rheumatology at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA).

Prof Hans Bijlsma, professor Psychiatry
Photo: Dirk Gillissen

Hans Bijlsma is joining the AMC-UvA team specialised in research on inflammatory diseases of the spinal joints (such as Bechterew's disease), rheumatoid arthritis and systemic autoimmune diseases like Sjögren's syndrome. In his related translational research, Bijlsma is working to uncover various aspects of chronic inflammation, as well as evaluate early intervention techniques aimed at these inflammation processes.

Bijlsma is head of the rheumatology departments at both the UvA-AMC and VU University Medical Center, and will be directing the merger of these departments in the coming years, working in close association with the rheumatology department of the Reade rehabilitation centre. He will also continue working part time at the University Medical Centre (UMC) Utrecht, where he is involved in the TRACER project for the detection and prognosis of rheumatoid arthritis in all stages, from early to advanced, as well as other projects. As principal investigator at U Act Early, Bijlsma is engaged in research into new treatment strategies for beginning rheumatoid arthritis and in the nationwide CHECK study, which is following 1,000 people with beginning rheumatoid arthritis over a period of ten years.

Bijlsma holds various ancillary positions, including treasurer of the European League Against Rheumatism, and for several years he was chair of the Dutch Rheumatology Association (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Reumatologie). As well as contributions to different international rheumatology textbooks, Bijlsma has authored more than 600 publications in leading journals including Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine and Annals of Internal Medicine.