Annelies Verbon appointed professor of Internal Medicine

Annelies Verbon appointed professor of Internal Medicine

Annelies Verbon

Internist Annelies Verbon (chair of the Division of Internal Medicine and Dermatology, UMC Utrecht) has been appointed professor of Internal Medicine at Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht as of January 1, 2024. The chair is part of UMC Utrecht's strategic research program Infection & Immunity.

Annelies Verbon's scientific career has focused primarily on the prevention of infectious diseases (especially tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS) and the prevention of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). She has also gained extensive experience and expertise as a connector between laboratory research and clinic, bringing together the various disciplines within internal medicine. 

HIV research 

HIV infection is still surrounded by stigma from a patient perspective. To improve the well-being of patients, during her appointment at Erasmus MC, Annelies Verbon extensively investigated how patients experience this stigma and evaluated peer support as an intervention. By determining the impact of new drugs on HIV and patient well-being, she also contributed to advances in HIV treatment. In recent years, the focus of HIV research has shifted to immunological and virological features of cure. This has grown into collaborations such as NL4cure (Erasmus MC, Amsterdam UMC, UMC Utrecht and the HIV Patients Association) and HIV Cure (Erasmus MC, Amsterdam UMC and UMC Utrecht). Within these consortia behavioral, immunological, virological and clinical studies are carried out where Annelies contributes with her expertise mainly to the clinical studies.  

Antimicrobial resistance 

Another focus within Annelies Verbon's research is AMR. Improving the use of antimicrobial agents, especially preventing excessive antibiotic use, through antimicrobial stewardship programs is considered indispensable worldwide, both to optimize therapy for individual patients and to reduce the emergence of AMR. Annelies was (co)promoter of several laboratory studies on fungal resistance, bacterial resistance and mycobacterial resistance as well as on clinical studies on epidemiological factors and risk factors of AMR. She is also coordinator of a JPIAMR consortium evaluating the impact of an app on proper antibiotic use in several countries.  

Vision and ambition 

According to Annelies Verbon, information technology (IT) and artificial intelligence (AI) will become game changers within medicine. However, medicine is more than technology and interaction between patients, physicians and other healthcare providers remains essential for good healthcare. In the coming years, she plans to implement IT and AI in patient care as a continuation of the COVERED project (in which patients with infectious diseases are continuously monitored at home from a medical coordination center) and the AB-assistant project (decision support via a smart watch when prescribing antibiotics). In addition, according to Annelies, HIV cure research will be a combination of clinic, immunology and virology. Bringing these fields together is essential for achieving an actual HIV cure within 10 years.  

Brief biography 

Annelies Verbon was trained as an internist and is specialized in infectious diseases. She studied medicine at the University of Amsterdam and obtained her PhD there in 1992 with the thesis "Development of a serological test for tuberculosis: from bench to bedside." She then worked at the AMC in Amsterdam as an infectious disease specialist. At Maastricht UMC, she became a staff member at the infectious diseases department in 2002. In 2009, she joined Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, accepted the professorship of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases there in 2012 and became head of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in 2014. In 2021, Annelies Verbon transferred to UMC Utrecht to become head of the Department of Internal Medicine. Subsequently, she became chair of the Division of Internal Medicine and Dermatology in 2022. Annelies is a member of several guideline development committees, is reviewer of research proposals for several AIDS funds, ZonMw and NWO. Annelies Verbon has authored over 225 articles in scientific journals and has supervised over 30 PhD students in her career. In 2015, Annelies became president of the Dutch Society of Internist-Infectiologists. She is also a member of the program committee of the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID). During the corona pandemic, she was a member of the OMT, which advised the Dutch government on the policies to be pursued. 

Working at UMC Utrecht





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