Professor of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Centre Leiden, The Netherlands
Professor Désirée van der Heijde obtained her medical degree in 1986 from the Catholic University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She completed her PhD in 1991 and became a Board-Certified Rheumatologist in 1993. Following a 1-year appointment in Sweden in 1993, she joined the Department of Rheumatology at the University Hospital Maastricht until 2007, when she took up her current position as Professor of Rheumatology at the Leiden University Medical Center. Since 2007, she has also been affiliated to the Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, Norway.
Her major research interest is in the methodology of outcomes assessment and its application in clinical research. Specific areas of interest are radiographic scoring methods in Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Spondyloarthritis, as well as scoring of magnetic resonance imaging in Spondyloarthritis. She is involved as principal investigator or steering committee member in many clinical trials with biologics in Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Spondyloarthritis.
Professor van der Heijde was the Chairperson of the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) from 1995 to 2012. She was the Chair of the EULAR Standing Committee for Clinical Affairs and is currently the ACR-EULAR liaison officer. She received the prestigious Carol Nachman Award for her scientific contributions to Rheumatology in 2011 and a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Ghent in Belgium in 2012.
Professor van der Heijde has published more than 730 papers in international literature, as well as chapters in leading rheumatology textbooks. She is a regular reviewer for all the major Rheumatology journals and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology and RMD Open. She is also an Advisory Board member of the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.