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Désirée van der Heijde

Désirée van der Heijde is currently Professor of Rheumatology at the Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands. She obtained her medical degree in 1986 from the Catholic University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She completed her PhD in 1991 and became a Board-Certified Rheumatologist in 1993. Following a 1-year appointment in Sweden in 1993, she joined the Department of Rheumatology at the University Hospital Maastricht until 2007, when she took up her current position as Professor of Rheumatology at the Leiden University Medical Center. Since 2007, she has also been affiliated to the Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, Norway.

Her major research interest is in the methodology of outcomes assessment and its application in clinical research. Specific areas of interest are radiographic scoring methods in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and spondyloarthritis, as well as scoring of magnetic resonance imaging in spondyloarthritis.

Professor van der Heijde was the Chairperson of the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) from 1995 to 2012. She was the Chair of the EULAR Standing Committee for Clinical Affairs and the ACR-EULAR liaison officer between 2011 and 2019. She received the prestigious Carol Nachman Award for her scientific contributions to rheumatology in 2011, a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Ghent in Belgium in 2012, and the Jan van Breemen medal in 2017. She is an honorary member of EULAR.

Professor van der Heijde has published more than 1000 papers in the international literature, as well as chapters in leading rheumatology textbooks. She is associate editor of the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.

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