Dr. Maartje G. Huijbers
I’m a neuroimmunologist with special interest in neuromuscular autoimmune diseases and translational science. As a student I started an internship at the LUMC departments of human genetics and neurology (with prof. van der Maarel and Prof. Verschuuren) which sparked my enthusiasm for myasthenia gravis and neuroimmunology. This was enhanced by an 11 month lab visit at the University of Pennsylvania in the prof. Dalmau lab where I contributed to the discovery of two new subtypes of limbic encephalitis, a central nervous system autoimmune disease. After finishing my thesis in Philadelphia I continued with my PhD at LUMC where I worked on unravelling the pathophysiology of MuSK myasthenia gravis. This included a seven month lab visit to the Prof. Burden lab at New York University. This collaboration resulted in the first description of the pathomechanism of MuSK myasthenia gravis.
After graduating in 2016 I continued this exciting line of research in the same lab testing two potential treatments in our preclinical model for MuSK MG. Currently, I’m heading the neuroimmunology group where we have a special interest in unravelling the unique (immunological) features of MuSK myasthenia gravis and the similarities with other IgG4-mediated autoimmune diseases. We furthermore have several (inter)national collaborations with academic and industrial partners to explore the cause and consequences of autoimmunity and potential treatments in neuromuscular disease.