Dr. J.C. Leemans

Associate professor (UHD)
Main activities
Research, Teaching
Immunology, Metabolism and Nephrology
Focus of research

Our research aims to unravel cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying acute kidney disease, chronic kidney disease, and metabolic syndrome-associated kidney disease by focussing on innate immunity and metabolism. By strengthening existing links and developing new ones between the three disciplines immunology, metabolism and nephrology we hope to foster novel therapeutic approaches for patients with kidney disease. We pioneered antisense TLR2 therapies for acute kidney injury and currently concentrate on metabolic reprogramming the kidney . We make use of many in vitro and in vivo models, and an extensive biobank of renal biopsies of patients. We have a strong expertise in managing and maintaining (digital) histology and pathology studies. Our studies give insights into the pathogenesis of immune- and metabolism-mediated renal disease and explore diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for kidney disease.

Key words: * innate immunity * pattern-recognition receptors * kidney * sterile inflammation * metabolism


Key publications
  • Stokman G, Kors L, Bakker PJ, Rampanelli E, Claessen N, Teske GJD, Butter L, van Andel H, van den Bergh Weerman MA, Larsen PWB, Dessing MC, Zuurbier CJ, Girardin SE, Florquin S, Leemans JC, NLRX1 dampens oxidative stress and apoptosis in tissue injury via control of mitochondrial activity. J EXP MED 2017;214 (8):2405-2420 [PubMed]
  • Bakker PJ, Butter LM, Kors L, Teske GJD, Aten J, Sutterwala FS, Florquin S, Leemans JC, Nlrp3 is a key modulator of diet-induced nephropathy and renal cholesterol accumulation. KIDNEY INT 2014;85 (5):1112-1122 [PubMed]
  • Leemans JC, Cassel SL, Sutterwala FS, Sensing damage by the NLRP3 inflammasome. IMMUNOL REV 2011;243 (1):152-162 [PubMed]
  • Dessing MC, Tammaro A, Pulskens WP, Teske GJ, Butter LM, Claessen N, van Eijk M, van der Poll T, Vogl T, Roth J, Florquin S, Leemans JC, The calcium-binding protein complex S100A8/A9 has a crucial role in controlling macrophage-mediated renal repair following ischemia/reperfusion. KIDNEY INT 2015;87 (1):85-94 [PubMed]
  • Leemans JC, Kors L, Anders HJ, Florquin S, Pattern recognition receptors and the inflammasome in kidney disease. NAT REV NEPHROL 2014;10 (7):398-414 [PubMed]
All Publications
Curriculum Vitae

Jaklien Leemans (1973) received her MSc degree from the Faculty of Biology of the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands) in 1997. In 2002 she received her PhD degree from the University of Amsterdam in the AMC (The Netherlands, Prof. dr. Tom van der Poll). From 2002 to 2006, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the department of Pathology (AMC) under supervision of Prof. dr. Sandrine Florquin. Since 2006 Leemans is scientific staff member at the Department of Pathology of the AMC, and appointed as AMC Principle Investigator (January 2010). Her research is embedded in the Center for Immunology Amsterdam (CIA). She received several (personal) grants (Veni, Vidi, ASPASIA NWO; fellowship Dutch Kidney Foundation & several Innovation grants) that she used to start and continue her own line of research. In three landmark papers in the J Clin Invest, PNAS, and J Exp Med  they were the first to show that renal oxidative stress is mediated by the innate immune receptors TLR2, NLRP3 and NLRX1 and can be reduced by antagonizing TLR2. These research findings are currently translated in new medical treatments by Opsono Therapeutics (humanized neutralizing TLR2 Ab OPN-305) for the prevention of ischemia reperfusion injury associated with renal transplantation (Clinical Trials are ongoing). She is BKO accredited, a member of the Scientific Board of the Dutch Kidney Foundation, former coordinating editor of an educational website for nephrological researchers, associate editor of Frontiers in Immunology, associate editor of ISRN Inflammation, and representative of the Council of the ARIA.  


Research programmes

Renal Inflammation and Repair

Thanks to the financial support of NWO, ZonMW and the Dutch Kidney Foundation, we set up a research group dedicated to unravel the immunological and metabolic mechanisms involved in renal injury and repair and to design new therapeutic tools for the treatment of kidney diseases. We use experimental models for acute and chronic kidney injury, renal biopsies, and urine and plasma of renal patients.

Our research line can be divided in 3 sub-themes:
a) Pattern-Recognition Receptors (PRRs) and the Inflammasome in Renal Injury and Repair
b) (Immuno)metabolism in Renal Injury and Repair
c) Metabolic Reprogramming the Kidney

Research Themes: Infection and Immunity and Metabolic Disorders.

This research group participates in the Center of Immunology Amsterdam (CIA)

Dr. J.C. Leemans

Dr. M.C. Dessing
Dr. P. Ochodnický
Dr. E. Rampanelli

PhD Students
Drs. D. Emal
J.J. Hoelbeek
L. Kors MSc
A.M.L. Scantlebery MSc

L.M. Butter
N. Claessen

Prof. dr. S. Florquin (Renal inflammation and repair)

Other research related activities
  • Membership of medical or scientific committee, Nierstichting, Scientific and Advisory Board (WR)
  • Membership of medical or scientific committee, Other, Dutch federation of Nephrology, General Board, Daily Management and Treasurer
  • Membership of medical or scientific committee, Other, Dutch federation of Nephrology, Scientific Council
  • Membership of editorial board / Editorship, FRONTIERS IN IMMUNOLOGY
  • Membership of editorial board / Editorship, ISRN INFLAMMATION
  • Jury, Best Dutch publication in nephrology