Professor Pulmonology, in particular cell biology and immunology of pulmonary diseases
Pieter S. Hiemstra is professor of Respiratory Cell Biology and Immunology, and head of the Laboratory for Respiratory Cell Biology and Immunology of the Department of Pulmonology of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). His other activities include being Chair of Assembly 3 (Basic and Translational Science) of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), Section Editor Basic Science of the European Respiratory Journal, and chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Lung Foundation Netherlands. Pieter Hiemstra was been elected in 2014 as Fellow of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the largest respiratory society worldwide.
Respiratory Cell Biology and Immunology
Respiratory Cell Biology and Immunology is a fascinating area of research. It is not only essential for our understanding of the pathogenesis of lung diseases, but also for the prevention, and the current and future treatment of these diseases. The research of the team of Hiemstra is conducted in a clinical department where basic, translational and clinical science meet. His research is mainly focussed on the obstructive lung diseases (COPD and asthma), but has more recently also included lung cancer research. The epithelial cells that line the airway and the alveoli take center stage in the research. Understanding the function of these cells in health and disease is essential for understanding their role in chronic inflammation, repair of injured lung tissue, and lung cancer.
Hiemstra regards teaching medical students and students in biomedical sciences as an important task, and in his teaching stresses the importance of understanding the fundamentals of disease processes for optimal patient care and research. From 2007-2013 Hiemstra was chair of the Education Committee of Biomedical Sciences at LUMC.
Pieter S. Hiemstra studied (Medical) Biology at the University of Utrecht where he graduated in 1984. He obtained his PhD degree at the Medical Faculty of Leiden University in 1988 (Thesis: Activation of the alternative pathway of the complement system by immunoglobulin A). Following one year as a research fellow in the Depts. of Nephrology and Rheumatology, he joined the Department of Infectious Diseases as an assistant professor to work on phagocyte biology. In 1990-1991 I spent a 5-month post-doctoral training period in the laboratory of Prof. R.I. Lehrer (UCLA, Los Angeles, USA), where he worked on antimicrobial peptides. In 1992, he joined the Department of Pulmonology as an assistant professor and head of the laboratory of the department. In 1994, he was appointed associate professor, and in 2004 Professor of Respiratory Cell Biology and Immunology. He held his inaugural lecture (“Over grensbewaking en lange adem”) as professor at Leiden university on April 29, 2005.
Prizes and honourable appointments
Pieter Hiemstra has been elected in 2014 as Fellow of the European Respiratory Society (ERS), the largest respiratory society worldwide.
- Section Editor Basic Science