Prof. W.J. Wiersinga MD PhD


Prof. MD PhD W.J. Wiersinga

Full Professor
Main activities
Patient care, Research
Internal medicine, infectious diseases
Focus of research
Professor Joost Wiersinga, MD, PhD, Amsterdam, the Netherlands is chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases of the Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam. He received his medical training at the University of Amsterdam with additional courses at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH, Bethesda, MD).

He received his PhD thesis entitled “On Toll-like receptors and the innate immune response in melioidosis”, cum laude (Professor Tom van der Poll and professor Sharon Peacock); during this period he worked in Bangkok at the Wellcome Trust Overseas Programme. Previous awards included the O'Callaghan PhD award, the Andreas Bonn medallion, the GSK ICAAC award, the ESCMID Young Investigator Award and the ANZICS Global Rising Star Award 2015.

He divides his time between patient care, teaching and research in the Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine (CEMM) all at the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam. He investigates innate immune responses in sepsis, caused by Streptoccus pneumonia, Klebsiella pneumonia, Burkholderia pseudomallei and Salmonella typhi. Recent interests include the role of the gut microbiota during severe bacterial infections. His work has been published in among others Nat Rev Microbiol, Gut, JAMA Internal Medicine, PLoS Medicine and N Engl J Med.


Focus of research:

  • Host-pathogen interactions and innate immune responses in infectious diseases
  • Special interest in: sepsis, pneumonia, cellulitis, typhoid fever, melioidosis, gut microbiota


Key publications
  • Wiersinga W. Joost, Currie Bart J., Peacock Sharon J. Melioidosis New England journal of medicine 2012;367 (11):1035-1044 [PubMed]
  • Wiersinga W. Joost, van der Poll Tom, White Nicholas J., Day Nicholas P., Peacock Sharon J. Melioidosis: insights into the pathogenicity of Burkholderia pseudomallei Nature reviews. Microbiology 2006;4 (4):272-282 [PubMed]
  • Schuijt Tim J., Lankelma Jacqueline M., Scicluna Brendon P., de Sousa E Melo Felipe, Roelofs Joris J. T. H., de Boer J. Daan, Hoogendijk Arjan J., de Beer Regina, de Vos Alex, Belzer Clara, de Vos Willem M., van der Poll Tom, Wiersinga W. Joost The gut microbiota plays a protective role in the host defence against pneumococcal pneumonia Gut 2016;65 (4):575-583 [PubMed]
  • Lankelma Jacqueline M., Cranendonk Duncan R., Belzer Clara, de Vos Alex F., de Vos Willem M., van der Poll Tom, Wiersinga W. Joost Antibiotic-induced gut microbiota disruption during human endotoxemia: a randomised controlled study Gut 2017;66 (9):1623-1630 [PubMed]
  • Wiersinga W. Joost, Levi Marcel What Other Industries Can Learn From Health Care JAMA internal medicine 2016;176 (4):425-426 [PubMed]
All Publications
Curriculum Vitae

Personal details
Name: W. J., Joost, Wiersinga, PhD, M.D., MBA
Born: 14-10-1976, Amsterdam

Current position
Chair Department of Infectious Diseases. Works as internist-infectious diseases specialist at the Department of Internal Medicine, clinical lecturer for biomedical science and medicine studies, and head infectious diseases research group at the Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine (CEMM), all at the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Pre-university education
1995 Barlaeus Gymnasium, Amsterdam

Master's (‘doctoraal’)
2002 University of Amsterdam, Main subject: Medicine

2008 University of Amsterdam. Promotor: Prof. dr. Tom van der Poll, Co-promotor (University of Oxford): Prof. dr. Sharon Peacock
Title of thesis: On Toll-like receptors and the innate immune response in sepsis caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis), cum laude

Education/Professional experience

2013-2015 MBA in Healthcare management, Amsterdam Business School                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             2011 Visiting clinician at National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA
2011 Board certified internal medicine / infectious diseases (Royal Dutch College of Physicians)
2009-2011 Fellow Infectious Diseases, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam
2008 Resident in Intensive Care, OLVG Teaching hospital, Amsterdam
2002-2009 Resident in Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Academic Medical Center
2002 Intensive Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
2002 Junior Doctor, Ndala Mission Hospital, Ndala, Tanzania
2002 MD degree, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
1996 Clinical course, St Mary’s hospital, Mysore, India

Research activities overseas and ongoing international collaborations
2015 PI and coordinator of HORIZON2020 Marie Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN): The European Sepsis Academy (
2012 B. pseudomallei WGS, Prof. P. Tang, Genomic Centre Singapore, Duke-NUS, Singapore
2012 Identification of a new Burkholderia spp. Prof. Grobusch, Albert Schweitzer Hospital, Gabon 
2011 Diabetes and sepsis, Prof. I. Steinmetz, University of Greifswald, Germany
2011 B. pseudomallei LPS-TLR interactions, Dr. J. Prior, DSTL, Porton Down, UK
2010 PRR in typhoid fever. Wellcome-Oxford University, Prof. Dondorp, Chittagong, Bangladesh
2009 MIF in melioidosis, Prof. T. Calandra, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
2005 PhD, part done at Wellcome-Mahidol Oxford University, Prof. S. Peacock, Bangkok, Thailand
2002 Small scale meningitis outbreak investigation, Dr. A. Groen, Ndala Mission Hospital, Ndala, Tanzania
1999 Bachelor thesis, Dpt. Endocrinology, Prof. R. Bahn, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

Activities in international organizations
- PI and coordinator of the Horizon2020 Marie Curie ITN European Sepsis Academy (ESA)
- Executive committee ESCMID Study Group for Bloodstream Infections and Sepsis (ESGBIS)
- Member of the scientific committee of the World Melioidosis Congress, 2013, Bangkok, Thailand and 2016, Cebu, Philippines
- Member Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guideline Committee 2016
- Past Associate Editor Netherlands Journal of Medicine (NJM)
- F1000 post publication peer review faculty member Infectious Diseases
- Grant proposal reviewer for among others Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), National Medical Research Council Singapore, U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) Basic and applied research program USA and Wellcome Trust.
- Reviewer for among others Nature Medicine, Cell Host and Microbe, Blood, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Critical Care Medicine, Journal of Immunology, Lancet Resp Med, Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine.

Other academic activities
- Sectie editor infectieziekten ‘Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde’ 
- Executive committee (Treasurer) Dutch Working Party on Antibiotic Policy (‘Stichting Werkgroep Antibiotica Beleid’; SWAB)                                                                                                                                                                                                             - Coordinator of Dutch Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Pneumonia (SWAB/NVALT)
- Past-Chair Evaluation Committee of the Master programme of Medicine, University of Amsterdam
- Past-Chair of the Dutch association of junior internist (JNIV), Utrecht, the Netherlands
- Past-Member of the executive board of the Netherlands Organization of Internists (NIV) and co-organizer Dutch Internal Medicine annual congress, Maastricht
- Past-Participant Young Academic Leadership program of the University of Amsterdam under the guidance of our dean

Top prizes and awards
2016 VIDI grant NWO                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             2015 The Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Intensive Care Global Rising Star Award for outstanding contributions in sepsis research, Auckland, October                                                                                             2014 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) Young Investigator Award 2014 for outstanding achievements in sepsis research, Barcelona
2010 VENI grant NWO                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           2009 O'Callaghan PhD award, Awarded every 2 years to a junior investigator for best PhD thesis in the field of infectious diseases, Dutch Society of Infectious Diseases (VIZ)
2009 First prize PhD thesis award, AMC Graduate School for Medical Science
2008 Andreas Bonn medallion, awarded once every 5 years to a junior investigator for original work performed in the fields of medicine, physics and mathematics
2009 Award for clinical patient orientated research, Dutch Society for Internal Medicine
2008 PhD-thesis, cum laude
2006 GlaxoSmithKline price, ICAAC 2006, San Francisco, USA

Research programmes

Prof. MD PhD W.J. Wiersinga (Translational research in infectious diseases from microbes to man)

 See above.

PhD F. Hugenholtz

PhD Students
H.K. de Jonge
S.J. Leopold

A.P. Bij
PhD L. Jongejan
R.B. van der Lee

Prof. PhD T. van der Poll (Pathophysiology of sepsis)

Medewerkers buiten research programmes van afdeling Inwendige Geneeskunde: Algemene Inwendige Geneeskunde

MD PhD A.P.J. Vlaar (Transfusion related morbidity and mortality)

Current research funding
  • AMC
  • AMC (Vrijgesteld)
  • Life Sciences Health TKI
  • ZonMw
  • ZonMw (Vrijgesteld)