Nico Wulffraat

Nico Wulffraat

Biography

MD PhD, Professor Pediatric Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics University Medical Center Netherlands Prof. Dr. Nico M. Wulffraat, MD PhD, (H factor 47) is professor of pediatric rheumatology at the department of pediatrics, University Medical Center, Utrecht. He obtained his MD and PhD (1987) at the Free University Hospital Amsterdam. He trained as a paediatrician from 1988 until 1993 in Utrecht. He was fellow pediatric immunology and rheumatology from 1993 to 1995 in the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital. Since 1995 he worked as a consultant in pediatric immunology-rheumatology. Since 2010 he is the head of this department of pediatric immunology. From 1997-2004 he was also coordinator of the pediatric allogeneic and autologous stem cell transplantations for immune deficiencies, metabolic disorders and autoimmune diseases. Nico Wulffraat’s main field of expertise in Pediatric Rheumatology is in interventions in the regulation of chronic inflammation (medication, immunisation and cellular therapies). He is PI of several investigator initiated trials of immunisations in children with rheumatic diseases including MMR, HPV and Men C, prevention of MTX side effects, and application of Mesenchymal Stem cells in refractory Graft versus Host Disease and in juvenile rheumatic diseases. Nico Wulffraat was also the initiator of the use of autologous stem cell transplantation in autoimmune diseases, which meant a true breakthrough in the treatment of patients with complete treatment resistant forms of autoimmunity. He is coordinator of a FP7 consortium for pharmacovigilance of biologics used in JIA (PHARMACHILD). He also leads the EU EAHC project SHARE that aims at documenting standards of care and treatment recommendations for pediatric rheumatic diseases throughout Europe. Wulffraat served in  various national and international scientific boards, including the Board of Dutch pediatric rheumatology society, the Scientific Advisory Council of the Dutch League for Rheumatology, various ZONMW programme committees (Translational Adult Stem cell research and Priority medicines for Children) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) expert group for Pediatric rheumatology.  Currently he is council member of the European PRES and PRINTO organisations. Since 2008 he is supervisor of the postgraduate clinical fellowship pediatric rheumatology and since 2009 head of pediatric immunology and rheumatology. In 2014, he was appointed as head of pediatric Rheumatology, Immunology, hematology and infectious diseases of the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital (UMC Utrecht). Nico Wulffraat has a strong commitment towards involving patients in care and research, as outlined in his inaugural lecture as a full professor, entitled “whose disease is it anyway?” (Utrecht University, 2014). Together with dr. Rae Yeung from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, Nico Wulffraat leads the Canada/Netherlands Personalized Medicine in Immune Mediated Inflammatory Muscoloskeletal Disease (UCAN CAN-DU) network. The research team will analyze current biological therapies of arthritis for children and develop new ones without the side effects of existing treatments. Results will be shared with families, physicians and policymakers which could lead to cost benefits for children living with this chronic condition. The network is supported with funding of $ 8 million over six years from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and ZonMw (the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development) and Reumafonds (the Ducht Arthritis Foundation) Dr. Wulffraat leads the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital which was approved as EULAR Centre of Excellence in 2016. EULAR collates a register of the top research centres in European rheumatology with a three-fold goal: to develop a group of fist-class research centres for active researchers, to enable exchange of fellows’ research projects, and to link with Brussels.