Logo UHasselt





Logo UHasselt Universiteit Hasselt - Knowledge in action


Veerle Somers is a Full Professor of Molecular Biology at Hasselt University and Vice Dean of the Transnationale Universiteit Limburg, School of Life Sciences. She is head of disease markers & bionanotechnology program at the Biomedical Research Institute (BIOMED) and biobank coordinator at the Clinical Research Center (CRC) of Hasselt University. Her main research interests focus on B cell analysis and biomarker discovery in autoimmune and neurologic diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal cord injury, Rheumatoid arthritis and Axial spondyloarthritis. Veerle Somers has a strong background in immunology and oncology including expertise in molecular and cellular biology, biobanking and cDNA phage display. She is an expert member of the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO) Med3 commission, member of the scientific board of the Flemish League against Cancer and the Flemisch Unesco Commission-Women in Science. Veerle Somers has strong experience in translation of results to biotech and biopharmaceutical companies.

Key Publications

  • Claes N & Fraussen J, Vanheusden M, Hellings N, Stinissen P, Van Wijmeersch B, Hupperts R, Somers V. Age-associated B cells with pro-inflammatory characteristics are expanded in a proportion of multiple sclerosis patients. J Immunol: 2016: In press.
  • Fraussen J, Claes N, Van Wijmeersch B, van Horssen J, Stinissen P, Hupperts R, Somers V.  B cells of multiple sclerosis patients induce autoreactive proinflammatory T cell responses. Clin Immunol. 2016 Oct 4. pii: S1521-6616(16)30163-2. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2016.10.001.

  • Palmers I, Ydens E, Put E, Depreitere B, Bongers-Janssen H, Pickkers P, Hendrix S, Somers V. Antibody profiling identifies novel antigenic targets in spinal cord injury patients. Journal of Neuroinflammation. 2016 13:243: doi 10.1186/s12974-016-0713-5.

  • Vandormael P, Verschueren P, De Winter L, Somers V. cDNA phage display for the discovery of theranostic autoantibodies in rheumatoid arthritis. Immunol Res. 2016 Aug 9. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Fraussen J, de Bock L, Somers V. B cells and antibodies in progressive multiple sclerosis: Contribution to neurodegeneration and progression. Autoimmun Rev. 2016 Jul 7. pii: S1568-9972(16)30143-4. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2016.07.008. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

  • Quaden DH, De Winter LM, Somers V. Detection of novel diagnostic antibodies in ankylosing spondylitis: An overview. Autoimmun Rev. 2016 Aug;15(8):820-32. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2016.06.001. Epub 2016 Jun 8. Review.

  • De Winter L, Geusens P, Lenaerts J, Vanhoof J, Stinissen P, Somers V. The isotype repertoire of antibodies against novel UH-RA peptides in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2016 Jun 7;18(1):130. doi: 10.1186/s13075-016-1030-1.

  • De Winter L, Hansen W, van Steenbergen H, Geusens P, Lenaerts J, Somers K, Stinissen P, van der Helm-van Mil A, Somers V. Autoantibodies to two novel peptides in seronegative and early rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology. 2016: Rheumatology (Oxford). 2016 Apr 19. pii: kew198. [Epub ahead of print].

  • Ydens E, Palmers I, Hendrix S, Somers V. The Next Generation of Biomarker Research in Spinal Cord Injury. Mol Neurobiol. 2016 Feb 5. [Epub ahead of print]

  • De Bock L, Fraussen J, Villar L, Álvarez-Cermeño J, Van Wijmeersch B, Van Pesch V, Stinissen P, Somers V. Anti-SPAG16 antibodies in primary progressive multiple sclerosis are associated with an elevated progression index. Eur J Neurol. 2016 Apr;23(4):722-8. doi: 10.1111/ene.12925. Epub 2015 Dec 26.

  • Claes N, Fraussen J, Stinissen P, Hupperts R, Somers V. B cells are multifunctional players in multiple sclerosis pathogenesis: insights from therapeutic interventions. Front Immunol. 2015 Dec 21;6:642. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00642. eCollection 2015. Review.


Full list of publications