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Principal Investigator

Dr. D. J. (Dirk-Jan) Hijnen


  • Department
  • Dermatology
  • Focus area
  • Atopic Dermatitis
External Profile



My research mission is to develop novel ways to better characterize Atopic Dermatitis patients by integrating clinical, serological, cellular and molecular biomarkers. This will lead to a better understanding of disease mechanisms and contribute to precision medicine.

Field(s) of expertise

Atopic Dermatitis is the most common chronic inflammatory skin disease and has a profound effect on the quality of life of patients. After decades without major breakthroughs in the treatment of Atopic Dermatitis, there are finally new drugs becoming available for the treatment of Atopic Dermatitis.
A major issue that we are facing is the heterogeneity of the disease. Although it is well known that Atopic Dermatitis is highly heterogeneous and many attempts have been made to define clinical phenotypes, science so far has not succeeded in establishing generally accepted definitions of clinical phenotypes.
Our research focuses on the mechanism that differentiate patients with different clinical phenotypes to better understand the disease, find new targets for treatment, and to predict treatment response.

Education and career


- Medical Biology, University of Amsterdam (graduation November 1999, MSc)
- Medical School, University of Utrecht (graduation March 2002, MD)
- Doctorate Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University Utrecht University, Jan 16, 2007
Title of thesis T cell behaviour in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis


- 03/2002-01/2006 PhD student Department of Dermatology and Allergology, UMC Utrecht
- 01/2006-07/2011 Dermatology Resident UMC Utrecht and Meander MC
- 03/2007-03/2008 Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Boston, MA
- 07/2011-05/2015 Dermatologist Diakonessenhuis (0.5 fte)
- 07/2011-05/2015 Dermatologist UMCU (0.5 fte)
- 05/2015-08/2017 Dermatologist UMCU (1 fte)
- 08/2017-01/2019 Dermatologist Erasmus MC



Teaching activities

Regular teaching of  residents, nurses and dermatologists.

Other positions

Member of the dermatology management board.

My Groups