Professor Hematology, in particular stem cell biology
Willem E. Fibbe is a professor of Hematology and Stem Cell Biology, former chairman of the department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion and former chairman of the board of Division 4. He has been a co-chairman of the Medical Research profile on Vascular and Regenerative Medicine of Leiden University Medical Center. He is the co-chairman of the Research profile of the University of Leiden on Vascular and Regenerative Medicine and coordinator and chairman of medical research profiles in LUMC.
Willem E. Fibbe is a professor of Hematology and Stem Cell Biology, the chairman of the department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion and the chairman of the board of Division 4. He has been a co-chairman of the Medical Research profile on Vascular and Regenerative Medicine of Leiden University Medical Center. He is the co-chairman of the Research profile of the University of Leiden on Vascular and Regenerative Medicine and coordinator and chairman of medical research profiles in LUMC.
Hematology and Stem Cell Biology
As a professor in Hematology and Stem Cell Biology, his research has focused on the development of Cellular Therapies, resulting in a translational and clinical program using Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP) in a variety of clinical indications. His cell therapy work has also been important for the further development of regenerative medicine within LUMC and has been at the basis of the foundation of the Leiden Regenerative Medicine Platform. This Foundation aims to promote the translation of novel ATMP to patients. This work is well aligned with one of the major routes of the National Science Agenda, namely Regenerative Medicine.
Prof. Fibbe studied Medicine at the Free University in Amsterdam and took his training in Internal Medicine in Leiden, where he subsequently specialized in Hematology. He completed his PhD thesis entitled: “Interleukin 1, a regulator of hematopoiesis” in 1988 (cum laude) and became the head of bone marrow transplantation program in 1991. In 2000 he was appointed professor in Hematology and Stem Cell Biology. The title of his inaugural lecture was: “Can we renew ourselves?”.
He succeeded prof. Melief as chair of the department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion in 2005 and in 2007 he was appointed chairman of the Board of Division 4 at LUMC. He has been a member of several advisory committees of the National Health Counsel and is the chairman of the Hematology Working Group of WHO ICD-11 and a member of WHO’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee for ICD-11. He has been a Board member of the International Netcord Foundation and the Medical director of the Netherlands Cord Blood Bank Eurocord, where he played a crucial role in the development of the NETCORD-FACT Guidelines for Cord Blood Banking. He is a member of the Committee of Scientific Affairs of the American Society of Hematology. He has been a board member and President of the European Hematology Association. He has been an associate editor of Blood for 10 years.
Following the completion of his PhD thesis he has been working on hematopoietic stem cells in mice and men, initially focusing on the purification of murine repopulating hematopoietic stem cells. This work has evolved into the dissection of mechanisms underlying hematopoietic stem cell mobilization, where he identified neutrophils as important mediators of mobilisation and dissected the role of metalloproteinases and adhesion molecules in mobilisation.
In another research line he worked on the characterisation and biology of mesenchymal stromal cells and on in vitro mechanisms underlying their immune suppressive properties. This formed the basis for the clinical introduction of mesenchymal stromal cells for their immune-modulatory properties in the context of haplo- identical stem cell transplantation. Following the introduction into the clinic in 2003, an extensive translational and clinical program has developed in close collaboration with many clinical departments. Current research focusses on the further dissection of mechanisms underlying their therapeutic effects. He is the coordinator of a large European Consortium to perform a randomised phase III study for patients with acute graft-versus-host disease following transplantation.
Prizes and honourable appointments
- C.J.Kokprijs in 1988
- Associate editor of Blood 1998-2007
- voorzitter Hematology Working Group