Dr. Bas Vastert

Dr. Bas Vastert

Dr. Bas Vastert

I am a pediatric rheumatologist/immunologist and a translational researcher with a PhD on mechanisms of disease and therapy in severe Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) in 2013. I am staff member of the department of pediatric rheumatology & immunology since 2012, and head of this department since 2022.

From 2017, I lead a translational research group within the Center for Translational Immunology (CTI) together with Jorg van Loosdregt, molecular biologist. Our group, the v Loosdregt-Vastert lab, currently consists of 7 PhD students, 2 post-docs and 2 technicians. I truly believe in the added value of bringing together young motivated researchers with different backgrounds (i.e. fundamental, clinical, computational, etc.) when aiming to translate understanding of mechanisms of disease and therapy to clinical practice.

Our research group addresses clinically unmet needs from basic understanding of immunological mechanisms of disease, to identifying therapeutical leads and strategies to finally testing these in clinical practice. I lead a Dutch national multicentre interventional trial in the ZonMW Rational Pharmacotherapy program, assessing the value of IL-18 as a biomarker, guiding tapering and stop of biological maintenance therapy in systemic JIA (ESTIS trial).

Together with my Utrecht colleague Joost Swart and Canadian colleagues Rae Yeung and Susa Benseler, I co-lead the Dutch-Canadian Cohort Study UCAN CAN DU, aiming to develop personalised therapy for juvenile arthritis.

In spring 2021, I was appointed chair of the Clinical Guideline Committee of the European Reference Network on Immunodeficiency, Auto-inflammatory and Autoimmune diseases (ERN-RITA: European Reference Network for Immunodeficiency, Autoinflammatory, Autimmune and Paediatric Rheumatic diseases), enabling me to develop new treatment guidelines and broadening the outreach of our group.

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