Our team

We are a team of over 20 senior and junior researchers and laboratory technicians. Please refer to the persons listed below to get a glimpse of their expertise and contact details.


Carla C. Baan, Professor PhD

Carla C. Baan, PhD, is professor and head of the Nephrology & Transplantation Laboratory at Erasmus Medical Center, University Hospital Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Dr Baan obtained her doctorate from Erasmus University, The Netherlands.

Her position involves the supervision of doctorate research related to the role of cytokines, T cells and B cells, and immunosuppressive drugs in clinical organ transplantation. The primary objective of my research is to develop and exploit new technologies for the diagnosis of transplant rejection using blood and urinary biomarkers.  She is visiting professor of the University of Aarhus, Denmark.

We have a strong collaboration with research groups of the Sichuan University (China), Leiden University Medical Center (Netherlands), University Medical Center Utrecht (Netherlands),  University of Aarhus (Denmark) and Colombia University (USA).

E-mail: c.c.baan@erasmusmc.nl


Martin J. Hoogduijn, PhD

Martin Hoogduijn is employed at the Nephology & Transplantation Laboratory of the Department of Internal Medicine at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam since 2006, currently as associate professor. His research focuses on cellular therapies for immunomodulation and tissue repair, with a special interest in mesenchymal stromal cells. Running research projects study the potential of mesenchymal stem cell vesicles for immunomodulatory therapy, the use of mesenchymal stem cells to repair transplant kidneys on machine perfusion and on the generation of kidney organoids from induced pluripotent stem cells. There are strong international collaborations with groups in Spain, Denmark, Germany and England.

E-mail: m.hoogduijn@erasmusmc.nl


Karin Boer, PhD

As a molecular biologist, Karin is interested in the clinical potential of alterations in molecular processes in solid organ transplantation. She focusses on the role of variations in DNA methylation in post-transplant complications such as rejection as well as the development of malignancies. Moreover she investigates the clinical value of minimally invasive markers such as donor-derived cell-free DNA, circulating nucleosomes and extracellular vesicles in the diagnosis of rejection.

E-mail: karin.boer@erasmusmc.nl


Ana Merino, PhD

Ana is a trained biologist with 15 years of biomedical research experience and a strong background in nanomedicine  field. Her research focusses on the implementation of Membranitos from mesenchymal stem cells as immune and regenerative therapy in immunological disorders.

E-mail: a.merinorodriguez@erasmusmc.nl


Nicole M. van Besouw, PhD

Nicole van Besouw received her PhD degree at the Erasmus University Rotterdam in 1999, for her studies on rejection pathways in heart transplant recipients. Subsequently, she was recognized as SMBWO Immunologist by the Dutch Society for Immunology.

Her studies focus on immunological monitoring of T and B cell responses in relation to both acute and chronic rejection after transplantation. She is specialized in the determination of donor-reactive cytokine producing cells. In addition, she is interested in anti-virus responses after transplantation, and vaccination studies to prevent herpes viruses after transplantation. Her current scientific interest focusses on identifying patients at risk for allograft rejection.


E-mail: n.vanbesouw@erasmusmc.nl


Nicolle H.R. Litjens, PhD

Nicolle H.R. Litjens is an assistant professor at the Nephrology & Transplantation Laboratory of Erasmus Medical Center, University Hospital Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

She obtained her doctorate from Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands  in 2004 and is acknowledged as an SMBWO-certified Immunologist by the Dutch Society for Immunology in 2006. She has over 14 years of biomedical research experience and supervised 5 PhD students, 3 of whom have already obtained their doctorate. She collaborates closely with Michiel G.H. Betjes, MD PhD (internist-nephrologist) and their research focusses on the prematurely aged T-cell immune system of kidney transplant recipients and unravelling the mechanisms by which anti-donor specific T-cell hypo-responsiveness develop after kidney transplantation in relation to ageing.


E-mail: n.litjens@erasmusmc.nl


Fabiany da Costa Gonçalves, PHD

Fabiany Gonçalves is a postdoc researcher with experience in the field of Medical Science, Immunobiology of Inflammation and Cell therapy.  Her studies focusses on the interaction of membrane particles from mesenchymal stem cells with different immunological cells and their therapeutic effects in vitro and in vivo models of inflammatory diseases for clinical applications.


E-mail: fdacostagoncalves@erasmusmc.nl


Wenda Verschoor

Wenda Verschoor is an experienced laboratory manager and head technician and contact person for the diagnostics within the Rotterdam Transplantation Laboratory. Her areas of expertise comprise of flow cytometry, flow cytometry-based cell sorting, immunology, cell biology and organizing the logistics of the laboratory.


E-mail: w.verschoor@erasmusmc.nl

Amy van der List, MSc

Amy van der List, MSc

Amy graduated with a Master in Cellular Life Sciences from the University of Utrecht. Since 2019 she has been working as a PhD candidate on a DKF-funded project by internist-nephrologist Dr. Michiel G.H. Betjes and assistant professor Dr. Nicolle H.R. Litjens. Her research focusses on the single cell transcriptome of anti-donor specific T-cell populations to determine the development of hypo-responsiveness after kidney transplantation in relation to ageing.

E-mail: a.vanderlist@erasmusmc.nl

Hector Tejeda Mora, MSc

Héctor Tejeda Mora, MSC

Héctor is a nanotechnologist who got a Master in Nanobiology from the Technical University of Delft. In 2019 he started his PhD at the Nephrology and Transplantation Laboratory at Erasmus Medical Center. Héctor is interested in studying cellular processes from an interdisciplinary perspective. His current research focusses on using endothelial cells as an indicator for the quality of kidney transplants, and as a tool to repair transplant kidneys. On previous projects, Héctor worked with synthetic biology tools, high resolution imaging techniques, and nanomaterial synthesis and characterization.

E-mail: h.tejedamora@erasmusmc.nl


Wouter W. Woud, MSc

As a systems biologist, Wouter is interested in the interactions and alterations of biomolecular compounds that shape life. Having finished his Research Master ‘Life Sciences’ in Amsterdam, his current research focusses on the detection of donor-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) as biomarkers to detect early (graft) rejection after renal transplantation. Subsidiary, he is studying the potential use of EVs as predictors of renal function after normothermic perfusion.


E-mail: w.woud@erasmusmc.nl


Aleixandra Mendoza, MSc

Aleixandra is a PhD student at the Nephrology & Transplantation Laboratory at Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands. She completed her master’s degree in Biomolecular Sciences at the VU University Amsterdam with a thesis in immunological research. Her current project focusses on the relation between intra-patient variability of immunosuppressive drugs and changes in the immune features of T and B cells after renal transplantation.

E-mail: a.mendozarojas@erasmusmc.nl


Marieke van der Zwan, MD MSc

Marieke is a resident nephrology and currently a PhD student at the Nephrology & Transplantation Laboratory at Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands. Her current project focusses on the long-term outcomes and adverse events of T cell depleting therapy (rabbit antithymocyte globulin and alemtuzumab) for glucocorticoid resistant acute kidney allograft rejection.  Besides, she investigates biomarkers for acute kidney allograft rejection in belatacept-treated patients.

E-mail: m.vanderzwan@erasmusmc.nl


Jeroen G.H.P. Verhoeven, MD MSc

Jeroen is a medical doctor and currently a PhD student at the Nephrology & Transplantation Laboratory at Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands. His research focusses on the clinical value of minimally invasive biomarkers for the detection of acute allograft rejection in kidney transplant recipients. He investigates potential biomarkers such as donor-derived cell-free DNA and circulating nucleosomes.

E-mail: j.verhoeven@erasmusmc.nl


Anusha Shankar, MD MSc

Anusha works on the differentiation of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC) into kidney organoids and studies the contribution of iPSC-derived kidney organoids to kidney regeneration using mouse models. She also uses the organoid culture system to examine the functional properties,  safety and stability and immunogenicity of the organoid structures.


E-mail: a.shankar@erasmusmc.nl

Zhaoyu Du Website Photo

Steven Du, MSc

Zhaoyu got his Animal Biotechnology Research Master at Northwest A&F University, China. Zhaoyu is currently a PhD student at the Nephrology & Transplantation Laboratory at Erasmus Medical Center. His research focusses on establishing a  analysis profile to monitor iPSC-derived kidney organoids’ survival and differentiation status after transplantation.


E-mail: z.du@erasmusmc.nl



Daphne Peelen is a medical doctor with a strong interest in translational research. For several years she combined her medical education with research projects on auto-immune diseases. After her graduation at the VU University Amsterdam she started as a PhD-candidate at the Nephrology & Transplantation Laboratory of the Erasmus Medical Center in October 2019. Her project focusses on defining the role of T-cells in acute and chronic renal allograft rejection. Therefore, she is working with kidney organoids, biopsy tissues and transplantectomies to study the rejection process at different stages. Besides, she is investigating novel approaches for better treatment stratification of immunosuppressive drugs in renal transplant recipients.


E-mail: d.peelen@erasmusmc.nl


Rens Kraaijeveld, BSc

Rens is a well-experienced research technician who enjoys flow cytometry and is an Illustrator enthusiast.  After finishing his bachelor degree he joined the lab of prof. Baan (2007). Rens is interested in the mechanism of action of different immunosuppressive drugs given to transplant patients. His current research project is focused on co-stimulatory blockade for which he has set up new in vitro assays.


E-mail: R.kraaijeveld@erasmusmc.nl


Ronella de Kuiper, BSc

Ronella is an experienced research technician specialized in cellular immunology. She works at the Transplantation Laboratory since 1996. Her main skills are cell culture, determination of the frequency of cytotoxic T lymphocytes and Elispots.


Sander Korevaar, BSc

Sander is a  research technician with over 15 years of experience. Familiar with a lot of different techniques including cell culture, molecular biology and confocal microscopy. Current project is studying the interaction of monocytes and MSCs.


Annemiek Peeters, BSC

Annemiek is an experienced research technician who participates in several PhD projects.

She has a strong background in molecular biology and is well-trained in assays measuring DNA methylation, dd-cfDNA, mRNA, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and more.


Marjolein Dieterich, BSc

Marjolein is a research technician with 10 years of experience. She excels in flow cytometry and cell culture. She works in close collaboration with PhD students and is also responsible for the logistics of materials for diagnostics and patients studies performed at the lab.


Derek Reijerkerk

Derek started his internship at the lab in 2015 optimizing a qPCR technique for measuring T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) and supporting a PhD student. Following his graduation he was offered a position as technician in the lab where he is currently supporting different research projects, with a special focus on the Elispot technique.