ARCAID allows us to bring together 20 of the most talented young researchers in biomedicine from all over the world with top translational scientists.

ARCAID ( features an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach to train a diverse group of Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to become the future leaders in autoimmune rheumatology research and creators of improved bench-to-bedside approaches.

ARCAID, supported by a 2,2-million-euro EU Co-Fund grant, allows us to bring together 20 of the most talented young researchers in biomedicine from all over the world with top translational scientists in the Amsterdam UMC. With a focus on autoimmune diseases, ARCAID trains and educates ESRs in four main research pillars:

  1. Application of state-of-the-art technologies on human and murine biosamples,
  2. Delineating the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying pathophysiology of diseases,
  3. Development of improved computational procedures for data analysis and interpretation, and
  4. Discovery of novel markers to improve diagnostics, prognostics and therapy response.

The ESRs will receive 4 years of PhD education while applying their newly acquired skills to studies that are of relevance for patients with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel disease, and others. The ESRs will also be offered internships at participating academic institutions as well as companies in the Netherlands and abroad. The scope of this program is wide and ambitious, and it is expected that the program will set an indelible mark on research in the field of autoimmunity both in Amsterdam and internationally.

Progress to date

Recruitment started in late 2019 and will be completed this year. More than 300 applications have been received to date, many of outstanding quality. Several ESRs have already started working in Amsterdam and some have done so remotely. A formal kick-off meeting was held in January.

Researchers involved

Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology and the department of Experimental Immunology at the Amsterdam UMC, location AMC:
Prof. Ronald van Vollenhoven/ Prof. Niek de Vries/ dr. Sander Tas/ Dr. Lisa van Baarsen/ Dr. Marleen van der Sande/ Dr. Jeroen den Dunnen/ Prof. Alexandre Voskuyl

Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc:
Dr. Conny van der Laken / Prof. Alexandre Voskuijl

Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC:
Dr. Joep Grootjans / Prof. Dr Geert D’Haens

Department of Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology (MCBI), Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc:
Prof. Sergey Nejentsev / Prof. Reina Mebius/ Prof. Sue Gibbs

Bioinformatics Laboratory, Department of Epidemiology & Data Science (EDS), Amsterdam UMC, location AMC:
Prof. Antoine van Kampen ESRs: Frazzei, Giulia / Olivieri, Armando