Denktank ‘Enhancing Immune Fitness: where to start?’

Immunowell initiated a (secluded) Think Tank workshop that takes place at 17 and 18 May 2017 at the UvA Institute of Advanced Study. Goal is to explore methodological approaches on modelling the complexity and dynamics of immune fitness. The central question is: How can we make a valid sensitivity analysis on the term “optimal immune fitness” using descriptive, system dynamic and complex adaptive modelling?

Over 50 years of immunological research brought us insights at a cellular and molecular level but left certain fundamental questions unanswered. For example, what are the factors contributing to the onset of chronic immune disorders (CIDs) and mechanisms keeping the immune system in homeostasis or driving the system into disease states? These are fundamental questions which could be better answered with an interdisciplinary approach. In this Think Tank the relation between immune fitness and chronic immune disorders will be explored. First, a set of questions from the perspectives of participants’ respective fields will be formulated. And then, the steps will be identified for a sensitivity analysis of ‘optimal immune fitness’.


  • Jonathan Jeroen Beekman, MA student Computational Science at the University of Amsterdam
  • Tjitske Bezema, founder and chair of the Immunowell Foundation
  • Charles Boucher, Professor in Virology at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam
  • Gerd Bouma, Professor of Gastroenterology at the Free University in Amsterdam
  • Filippo Castiglione, Adjunct Professor at the Department of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Roma Tre
  • Andrea Evers, Professor of Health Psychology and chair of the Health-Medical-and-Neuropsychology-Unit at Leiden University
  • Johan Garssen, Professor of Immunopharmacology at Utrecht University
  • Anita Hardon, Professor of Professor Anthropology of Care and Health
  • Alfons Hoekstra, Associate Professor Computational Science at the University of Amsterdam
  • Irma Joosten, Professor in Medical Immunology, principal investigator and head of the Laboratory for Medical Immunology of the Radboud University Medical Centre Nijmegen
  • Antoine van Kampen, head Bioinformatics Laboratory and chair of the Medical Bioinformatics at the University of Amsterdam
  • Aletta Kraneveld, Professor in Interdisciplinary Translational Pharmacology at Utrecht University
  • Emiliano Mancini, Assistant Professor Biological Science at of the University of Roma Tre
  • Peter Sloot, Professor Computational Science and scientific director of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at the University of Amsterdam
  • Karien Stronks, Professor Public Health and Chair of the Department of Public Health at the Academic Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam

Scientific lead
This think tank is part of the IAS current research theme Health Systems Complexity, and will be led by Dr. Anje te Velde from Tytgat Institute for Liver and Intestinal Disease of the Amsterdam Medical Center.

The event is sponsored by the Netherlands Platform Complex Systems (NPCS).

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