Prof.dr. J.H.F. (Fred) Falkenburg

Area(s) of interest

  • Professor of Hematology
  • Deputy Head of the Department of Hematology


Professor J.H.F. (Fred) Falkenburg studied medicine at the Leiden University Medical Center en graduated in 1980.

He received his PhD in 1985 (cum laude) on his thesis “antigenic determinant on human hematopoietic progenitor cells “. He was trained internal medicine and hematology and received his board certificate in 1991.

From 1988 till 1989 he was a visiting scientist at the Walther Oncology Center in Indiana, and was then from 1990 till 1995 awarded with a special fellowship of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Since 1998 he is head of the laboratory of Experimental Hematology at the Leiden University Medical Center, and in 1999 he was appointed as professor of Hematology to develop new strategies in experimental hematology focusing on immunotherapy of hematological disorders.

Research interests

His research interests focuses on the development of basic research into translational studies resulting in new experimental treatments in the field of leukemia and allogeneic stem cell transplantation. The main topics involve the characterization of allo-immune responses and responses to viral pathogens after stem cell transplantation, and the exploration of the use of T cells for the treatment of residual hematological malignancies after transplantation.

Clinical research involves the development of engineered T cells for the treatment of resistant leukemia, the development of vaccination strategies to amplify immune responses, and the development of new combined strategies exploring cell therapy, monoclonal antibodies and chemotherapy for the treatment of hematological malignancies.

Selected Publications

  • Griffioen M, van der Meijden ED, Slager EH, Honders MW, Rutten CE, van Luxemburg-Heijs SA, von dem Borne PA, van Rood JJ, Willemze R, Falkenburg JH.: Identification of phosphatidylinositor 4-kinase type II beta as HLA class II restricted target in graft versus leukemia reactivity. 2008. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA 11, 105; 3837-3842.
  • Jedema I, Meij P, Steeneveld E, Hoogendoorn M, Nijmeijer BA, van de Meent M, van Luxemburg-Heijs SA, Willemze R, Falkenburg JH. Early detection and rapid isolation of leukemia reactive donor T cells for adoptive transfer using the IFN gamma secretion assay. 2007. Clin Cancer Res. 15, 13, 636-643.
  • Heemskerk MH, Hoogeboom M, Hagedoorn R, Kester MG, Willemze R, Falkenburg JH. Reprogramming of virus specific T cells into leukemia-reactive T cells using T cell receptor gene transfer. 2004. J. Exp Med 5, 199: 885-894.
  • Marijt WA, Heemskerk MH, Kloosterboer FM, Goulmy E, Kester MG, van der Hoorn MA, van Luxemburg-Heijs SA, Hoogeboom M, Mutis T, Drijfhout JW, van Rood JJ, Willemze R, Falkenburg JH. Hematopoiesis-restricted minor histocompatibility antigens HA-1- or HA-2-specific T cells can induce complete remissions of relapsed leukemia. 2003. Proc.Natl. Acad Sci USA 4, 100: 2742-2747
  • Falkenburg JH, Wafelman AR, Joosten P, Smit WM, van Bergen CA, Bongaerts R, Lurvink E, van der Hoorn M, Kluck P, Landegent JE, Kluin-Nelemans HC, Fibbe WE, Willemze R. 1999. Blood 15, 94; 1201-1208.



Leiden University Medical Center
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Room C2R-140

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Tel: +31 71 526 2271

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The Netherlands