Dr. Hermelijn H. Smits

Associate Professor

Area(s) of interest


Associate Professor


Dr. Hermelijn Smits studied Biology at the University of Utrecht and did her PhD-studies at the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam on microbial priming of the human immune system and modulation of allergen-specific immune responses. She did a post-doc in the lab of Prof. B. Lambrecht (currently at VIB, Ghent, Belgium) on microbial priming and protection against allergic airway diseases in different mouse models. 

She obtained prestigious personal grants (VENI (2006) and VIDI (2014)) from ZonMW and LUMC (Gisela Thier fellow (2006)) to build her own research group focusing on immune regulation by worms and their protection against allergic airway diseases at the Dept of Parasitology. Throughout her career, Dr. Hermelijn Smits has received continuous financial support from the Dutch Lung Foundation for several research projects and a national consortium (2015). She was involved in several EU consortia (Gabriel, IDEA, TheSchistoVac). Currently, she is leading an international consortium on asthma prevention (AWWA -2018) within the programme ‘Accelerate’ of the Dutch Lung Foundation. She is actively involved in campaigns to explain her research to the general public and to patients.

She has been committee member and chair of the ‘Young Investigators’ (2010-2012) within the Netherlands Society of Respiratory Science (NRS), committee member of the Task Force on ‘Training Young Investigators’ (2015). She is the chair of the working group on Infections and Allergy in the EAACI (2015) and will be a member of the scientific programme committee of the Dutch Society of Immunology (NVVI - 2019). She is on the evaluation board of the ZonMw ‘Off Road’ programme.

Alongside the regular curricular teaching, Dr. Hermelijn Smits is also actively involved in teaching the next generation of researchers by setting up the NRS national Lung course for PhD-students and the new advanced LIFI course on ‘Immunology, Infections and Tolerance’. She is the coordinator of the half minor ‘Infections in Health and Disease’.     

Research interest


Key publications

An updated list of all publications can be found on Pubmed and Google Scholar.


Leiden University Medical Center
Building 1
Room P4-37

Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden
Tel: +31 71 526 5070

Postalzone P4-Q
P.O. Box 9600
2300 RC Leiden
The Netherlands

E-mail: h.h.smits@lumc.nl