Dr Joost Smolders MD, PhD
Head MS Center ErasMS
Departments of Neurology and Immunology
University Medical Center Rotterdam
Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Joost Smolders studied medicine and obtained his PhD degree in 2011 on research in multiple sclerosis (MS) both cum laude at Maastricht University Medical Center. Afterwards, he started as a post-doctoral researcher at the neuroimmunology research group of prof. Inge Huitinga at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN) in Amsterdam. Here, he optimized the isolation and characterization of viable post-mortem lymphocytes of the central nervous system of Netherlands Brainbank brain donors. After completing in parallel his clinical specialization as general neurologist, he moved in 2019 to Rotterdam to head MS center ErasMS of the departments of neurology and immunology of Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam. MS center ErasMS provides complex patient care, education, and research in people with MS and other demyelinating diseases across the lifespan (www.erasms.nl). Meanwhile, he continues his work with the neuroimmunology research group at NIN.
His research activities involve clinical and translational studies in MS. He investigated the association of environmental risk factors for MS, such as vitamin D and Epstein Barr Virus infection, with clinical and immunological MS endpoints. In addition, he is interested in physiological immune surveillance of the central nervous system, and alterations in this surveillance in people with MS. His focus is on T and B cells in blood, CSF and post mortem brain tissue.