Vaccine preventable diseases, in particular rotavirus, is the central theme in my epidemiological research. My multidisciplinary research has a strong Public Health signature, aimed at optimizing prevention strategies for infants and children through vaccination, with a special focus on medically vulnerable pediatric populations. Within an extensive national pediatric network my research group conducts clinical vaccine studies. I am PI of two large multicentre projects focussing on vaccination of infants with medical risk conditions. In addition, I collaborate both nationally and internationally with Academia and Public Health Institutes on rotavirus research.
The Risk-Group Infant Vaccination Against Rotavirus (RIVAR) project targets >6000 high-risk infants across 15 hospitals for rotavirus vaccination and enrolls >1500 of them in a detailed rotavirus vaccine effectiveness study. The PRIEMA-study (Optimizing Primary Immunization Series for Premature Infants), a joined project with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), studies immunogenicity of vaccines according to gestational age in 300 premature infants, to inform improved vaccination schedules adapted to immunological immaturity. In my VENI (2015) funded project I characterize household transmission and community burden of enteric viruses among 600 young families to gain further insight in population dynamics of viral epidemics and potential impact of vaccination. Along with my PhD work, preliminary results of these (ongoing) studies have contributed substantially to national discussions on (rotavirus) vaccination, clinical guideline development and vaccine policy making.
My research group has been involved in several other epidemiological studies quantifying disease burden for common childhood infections, characterizing ‘at risk’ groups or evaluating existing vaccination policy in pediatric target groups (influen
Interests and Focus
Vaccine Preventable Diseases
Infectious Diseases Epidemiology
Respiratory Tract Infections