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Research group/lab

Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Hidradenitis suppurativa research is focused on clinical trials, fundamental pathogenesis and epidemiology in order to improve to improve patient care.

About our research group/lab

About our research group


Patients with HS (prevalence 1-2%) experience recurrent, extremely painful, and foul smelling boils, abscesses and scarring mainly in the axilla, inguinal areas, and buttocks. Even though it has a tremendous impact on the quality of life the disease has long been scientifically neglected. The Erasmus MC is only NFU (Nederlandse federatie universitaire centra) center of expertise for H in the Netherlands. During specialised HS consulting hours we have treated over 2000 patients in the last 4 years.


The overall aim of our HS research group is to improve HS care.

Types of research

Our research focuses on

  • Clinical trials.
  • Fundamental laboratory research.
  • Genotypes and phenotypes.
  • Microbiome.
  • Quality of life and epidemiology

Our projects

Clinical trials

Multiple investor and industry initialed (multicenter) clinical trials

Fundamental laboratory research

Investigating the immuno, histo, pathogenesis of HS

Genotypes and phenotypes

Investigating the genomic background of HS and its correlation with different HS phenotypes


Investigating the dysbalancd microbiome of HS lesions and its effect on HS pathogenesis

Quality of life and epidemiology

Investigating patient reported outcomes (PROMS)

Investigating association with other (auto inflammatory) diseases

Key Publications

Elevated levels of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-10 in hidradenitis suppurativa skin: a rationale for targeting TNF-α and IL-1β. van der Zee HH, de Ruiter L, van den Broecke DG, Dik WA, Laman JD, Prens EP. Br J Dermatol. 2011 Jun;164(6):1292-8.

Hidradenitis suppurativa: viewpoint on clinical phenotyping, pathogenesis and novel treatments. van der Zee HH, Laman JD, Boer J, Prens EP. Exp Dermatol. 2012 Oct;21(10):735-9.

Adalimumab for the treatment of moderate to severe Hidradenitis suppurativa: a parallel randomized trial. Kimball AB, Kerdel F, Adams D, Mrowietz U, Gelfand JM, Gniadecki R, Prens EP, Schlessinger J, Zouboulis CC, van der Zee HH, Rosenfeld M, Mulani P, Gu Y, Paulson S, Okun M, Jemec GB. Ann Intern Med. 2012 Dec 18;157(12):846-55.

Hidradenitis suppurativa: a retrospective study of 846 Dutch patients to identify factors associated with disease severity. Schrader AM, Deckers IE, van der Zee HH, Boer J, Prens EP. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Sep;71(3):460-7.

European S1 guideline for the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa/acne inversa. Zouboulis CC, Desai N, Emtestam L, Hunger RE, Ioannides D, Juhász I, Lapins J, Matusiak L, Prens EP, Revuz J, Schneider-Burrus S, Szepietowski JC, van der Zee HH, Jemec GB. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2015 Apr;29(4):619-44.

Two Phase 3 Trials of Adalimumab for Hidradenitis Suppurativa.Kimball AB, Okun MM, Williams DA, Gottlieb AB, Papp KA, Zouboulis CC, Armstrong AW, Kerdel F, Gold MH, Forman SB, Korman NJ, Giamarellos-Bourboulis EJ, Crowley JJ, Lynde C, Reguiai Z, Prens EP, Alwawi E, Mostafa NM, Pinsky B, Sundaram M, Gu Y, Carlson DM, Jemec GB. N Engl J Med. 2016 Aug 4;375(5):422-34.

Development and validation of the International Hidradenitis Suppurativa Severity Score System (IHS4), a novel dynamic scoring system to assess HS severity.Zouboulis CC, Tzellos T, Kyrgidis A, Jemec GBE, Bechara FG, Giamarellos-Bourboulis EJ, Ingram JR, Kanni T, Karagiannidis I, Martorell A, Matusiak Ł, Pinter A, Prens EP, Presser D, Schneider-Burrus S, von Stebut E, Szepietowski JC, van der Zee HH, Wilden SM, Sabat R; European Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation Investigator Group. Br J Dermatol. 2017 Nov;177(5):1401-1409.

Apremilast for moderate hidradenitis suppurativa: Results of a randomized controlled trial.Vossen ARJV, van Doorn MBA, van der Zee HH, Prens EP. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 Jan;80(1):80-88.

The anti-inflammatory potency of biologics targeting tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-17A, IL-12/23 and CD20 in hidradenitis suppurativa: an ex vivo study.Vossen ARJV, Ardon CB, van der Zee, HH, Lubberts E, Prens EP. Br J Dermatol. 2019 Aug;181(2):314-323. 


DermaHaven https://www.dermahaven.nl

EHSF European hidradenitis suppurativa foundation https://www.ehsf.eu

ERN-SKIN European reference network https://ern-skin.eu

Our team

Errol Prens, MD, PhD

Hessel van der Zee, MD, PhD

Allard Vossen, MD, PhD

Kelsey van Straalen, MD

Christine Ardon, MD

Joanne Reeves

Principal Investigators

Project Leaders