Dr. Bram Rutgers

 My research interest is how the immune system causes systemic vasculitis. By improved understanding of the different processes involved we can better use the existing and sometimes new therapies to treat the individual patient in a personalized fashion.

In ANCA-associated vasculitis the autoreactive B cells and its end products, ANCA and cytokines are crucially involved in causing active disease. Patients are generally brought into remission with systemic and broad acting immunosuppressive agents. We are starting to unravel the B cell factors and characteristics that influence risk of disease relapse. What lays ahead is the translation of this knowledge into individual patient tailored therapy.


Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands


Rutgers A, van den Brom RRH, Hospers GAP, Heeringa P, Brouwer E. Systemic vasculitis developed after immune checkpoint inhibition. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2017.

von Borstel A, Abdulahad WH, Rutgers A, Land J, Stegeman CA, Heeringa P, & Sanders JSF. Mycophenolic Acid Decreases IL-10 and IL-6 Production By B Cells of Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis Patients and Healthy Controls in Vitro. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017.

Land J, Abdulahad WH, Arends S, Sanders JF, Stegeman CA, Heeringa P, Rutgers A. Prospective monitoring of in vitro produced PR3-ANCA does not improve relapse prediction in granulomatosis with polyangiitis. PLoS One. 2017.

van der Geest KSM, Brouwer E, Sanders JS, Sandovici M, Bos NA, Boots AMH, Abdulahad WH, Stegeman CA, Kallenberg CGM, Heeringa P, et al. Towards precision medicine in ANCA-associated vasculitis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2017.

Land J, Abdulahad WH, Sanders JS, Stegeman CA, Heeringa P, Rutgers A. Regulatory and effector B cell cytokine production in patients with relapsing granulomatosis with polyangiitis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2016.


J. Land: B cell phenotype and function in granulomatosis with polyangiitis: Towards prediction of relapse. Awarded: 2016

Current PhD projects

A. von Borstel: B cells in small vessel vasculitis: towards balance between regulators and effectors

A. Hessels: Reduction of treatment related toxicity in AAV