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 Prof. Dr. Ger Rijkers


Ger Rijkers (1952) is Professor in the Biomedical and Life Sciences and was Head of the Science Department of University College Roosevelt in Middelburg, The Netherlands until January 1, 2018. At UCR, he is coordinator of the Life Sciences track as well as the Biomedical track and the Pre-Medical program. Rijkers coordinates the research program “Maintaining Health”, which includes research on early detection of dementia (Gerda Andringa and Nathalie van de Zande) as well as research initiatives on biobased economy. He is also a participant in the i-4-1-Health project: Since November 2017, Rijkers chairs the committee researching the options to include engineering and innovation in the UCR curriculum.

Rijkers also works as a senior scientist at the Laboratory of Medical Microbiology and Immunology of the St. Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein. Dr. Rijkers graduated as cell biologist from the Wageningen University in 1977 and finished his PhD thesis on The immune System of Cyprinid Fish in 1980 at the same university. Next he started working in the Laboratory of Pediatric Immunology of the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital in Utrecht (which now is part of the UMC). In 1984 he became a qualified medical immunologist. Dr. Rijkers has spent 2 sabbatical periods in the USA: in 1983 in the Lab of Don Mosier, at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and in 1989 in Denver in the Lab of John Cambier at National Jewish. From the Children’s Hospital he went to the Department of Surgery of the UMC Utrecht to work on mucosal immunology of the gastrointestinal tract.

Ger Rijkers has a wide research interest with emphasis on mucosal immunology, immunoregulation (in autoimmune diseases, allergic diseases and infections), interaction between gut microbiota and the immune system, and vaccination. Rijkers has published over 350 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is Section Editor for the journal Beneficial Microbes and member of the Editorial Boards of Pneumonia and Biology. In 2016 he published (as editor in chief) the second edition of the  textbook “Immunologie” (ISBN978 90 313 4263 1).

In the St. Antonius Hospital he (co)supervises four PhD students who perform research on both clinical as well as fundamental aspects of the interaction between microbes and the immune system.

Ger Rijkers has a broad experience in teaching, ranging from guest-lectures at primary school children to postgraduate masterclasses on allergy, autoimmunity and vaccination. He has set up medical courses on Immunity and Infection as well as Metabolism and Endocrinology. In his spare time he is running and cycling and collects rock music from the sixties and seventies.

Ger Rijkers is married to Riky Lievendag since 1975 and they have 3 sons and 1 grandson.


Selected Publications 2018

  • Spoorenberg SMC, Vestjens SMT, Voorn GP, van Moorsel CHM, Meek B, Zanen P, Rijkers GT, Bos WJW, Grutters JC; Ovidius study group. Course of SP-D, YKL-40, CCL18 and CA 15-3 in adult patients hospitalised with community-acquired pneumonia and their association with disease severity and aetiology: A post-hoc analysis. PLoS One. 2018 Jan 11;13(1):e0190575.

Selected Publications 2017

  • Rijkers GT, Rodriguez Gomez M*. Rocking pneumonia. Pneumonia (Nathan). 2017 Dec 15;9:18. doi: 10.1186/s41479-017-0043-0.

  • Hoffman TW, van Kessel DA, Rijkers GT. Impact of Using Different Response Criteria for Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccination for Assessment of Humoral Immune Status. J Clin Immunol. 2017 Dec 15. doi: 10.1007/s10875-017-0470-y.

  • Gerritsen J, Hornung B, Renckens B, van Hijum SAFT, Martins Dos Santos VAP, Rijkers GT, Schaap PJ, de Vos WM, Smidt H. Genomic and functional analysis of Romboutsia ilealis CRIB(T) reveals  adaptation to the small intestine. PeerJ. 2017 Sep 11;5:e3698. doi: 10.7717/peerj.3698.

  • Timmerman HM, Rutten NBMM, Boekhorst J, Saulnier DM, Kortman GAM, Contractor N, Kullen M, Floris E, Harmsen HJM, Vlieger AM, Kleerebezem M, Rijkers GT. Intestinal colonisation patterns in breastfed and formula-fed infants during the first 12 weeks of life reveal sequential microbiota signatures. Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 21;7(1):8327. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08268-4.

  • Wagenvoort GHJ, Vlaminckx BJM, van Kessel DA, Geever RCL*, de Jong BAW, Grutters JC, Bos WJW, Meek B, Rijkers GT. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccination response in patients after community-acquired pneumonia, differences in patients  with S. pneumoniae versus other pathogens. Vaccine. 2017 Sep 5;35(37):4886-4895.

  • Rijkers G. Cutting the Stone: Health Defined in the Era of Value-based Care. Cureus. 2017 Feb 10;9(2):e1023. doi: 10.7759/cureus.1023.

  • van Kessel DA, Hoffman TW, van Velzen-Blad H, Zanen P, Grutters JC, Rijkers GT. Long-term Clinical Outcome of Antibody Replacement Therapy in Humoral Immunodeficient Adults With Respiratory Tract Infections. EBioMedicine. 2017 Apr;18:254-260. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.03.025.

  • Wumkes ML, van der Velden AM, de Bruin E, Meerveld-Eggink A, Koopmans MP, Rimmelzwaan GF, Rijkers GT, Biesma DH. Microarray profile of the humoral immune response to influenza vaccination in breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. Vaccine. 2017 Mar 1;35(9):1299-1305. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2017.01.039.

  • de Zande EV, Maria van de Nes JC, Jansen I, van den Berg MN, Zwart AF, Bimmel D*, Rijkers GT, Andringa G. The Test Your Memory (TYM) Test Outperforms the MMSE in the Detection of MCI and Dementia. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2017;14(6):598-607.

  • Vo Ngoc DT*, Krist L*, van Overveld FJ, Rijkers GT. The long and winding road to IgA deficiency: causes and consequences. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2017 Apr;13(4):371-382. doi:  10.1080/1744666X.2017.1248410. Epub 2016 Oct 25. Review.


Selected Publications 2016

  • Rijkers GT. Fixing a Hole: Preventing Pneumococcal Pneumonia by Vaccination. Front Immunol. 2016 Sep 13;7:349. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2016.00349.

  • Kim HK, Rutten NB, Besseling-van der Vaart I, Niers LE, Choi YH, Rijkers GT,  van Hemert S. Probiotic supplementation influences faecal short chain fatty acids in infants at high risk for eczema. Benef Microbes. 2015;6(6):783-90. doi: 10.3920/BM2015.0056.

  • Selected Publications 2015

  • Hoffman TW, van Kessel DA, van Velzen-Blad H, Grutters JC, Rijkers GT. Antibody replacement therapy in primary antibody deficiencies and iatrogenic hypogammaglobulinemia. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2015;11(8):921-33. doi: 10.1586/1744666X.2015.1049599.

  • Rijkers GT, Meek B, van Overveld FJ. More or less. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2015;11(8):875-6. doi: 10.1586/1744666X.2015.1059277.

For a full list of publications see PubMed: rijkers g 
(* UCR Student (co-)authors)




Cell biologist and Medical Immunologist

P.O. Box 94
NL-4330 AB Middelburg
Office hours: by appointment
Tel. 0118-655516 / fax 0118-655508