Nordwikerhutter Fritz Koning was appointed a Knight of the Dutch Order of the Lion – Bollenstreik Omrup

Nordwikerhutter Fritz Koning was appointed a Knight of the Dutch Order of the Lion – Bollenstreik Omrup

Noordwijk – Professor Dr. doctor. Frits Koning was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion on Thursday. He was awarded the Royal Medal by the mayor of Leiden, Henry Linferink. Koning is an immunologist and received his award after his farewell symposium on the occasion of his impending honorary status, his college retirement. Frits Koning (1954) has joined the Department of Immunology at LUMC since 1988.

The general explanation of his award reads as follows:

In 1994 he became a Senior Lecturer and in 2006 he was appointed Professor of Immunology and Head of the Department. Throughout his career, Professor Koning has made a significant scientific contribution to the field of immunology especially the proteochemical aspects of immunological diseases. A feature of an immune disease is that the body seems to fight itself. Celiac disease (gluten intolerance) is a good example of this, as are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the colon), all serious and sometimes life-threatening diseases.
During his career, Koning made a number of discoveries that were and still are very important for the prevention and control of intestinal diseases, in particular autoimmune celiac disease. He has contributed significantly to the understanding of how celiac disease develops and to the design of potential new treatment options. His research has shown, among other things, adverse T-cell responses associated with celiac disease, contributing not only to a better understanding of the disease, but also to better diagnosis and more targeted treatment of the patient.
Koning has been and continues to be a pioneer in the application of new technologies such as cytometry in the Netherlands, which can be used to detect and at the same time accurately characterize immune cells in tissues. This has led, among other things, to groundbreaking new insights into the development of inflammatory diseases in the gut. In addition, it has led to new insights into how the immune system is formed. These examples of new insights are often cited around the world and have had a global impact on the field of research. He also made the new technology widely available to other LUMC researchers.

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Between 2003 and 2013 he conducted research abroad, including at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology in San Diego, Rikchospitalt in Oslo, the University of Melbourne and the University of Chicago. From 2004 to 2014 he was Director and Scientific Coordinator of the Dutch Celiac Association, a major collaboration between a number of academic centers for better diagnosis and effective treatment approaches for celiac disease and the development of safer food for celiac patients. He was also coordinator of the TIMID consortium, which aims to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of immune-mediated diseases, and was a partner of the European Innovative Medicine Initiative consortium BIOMAP.

In addition to being mentor and confidential science integrity advisor (2009-2022) at LUMC, Frits Koning was chair of the Science Committee (2009-2020) and contributed to enhancing the scientific profile of LUMC. As a result, LUMC’s strategic research policy has focused specifically on regenerative medicine, oncology, and public health over the past five years, areas of research in which a lot is currently happening and from which healthcare innovation (also at the national level) is taking shape. His ideas are of great interest in this regard. He also put the topic of scientific integrity on the map at LUMC, was Chairman of the Standing Committee on Science and was active on committees evaluating grants and awards for young researchers, for example the LUMC Fellowships Committee, and the committee member responsible for the Leiden University Fund stipends. He has also been a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Dutch Celiac Society.

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Prof. Fritz Koning has supervised 22 PhD students and is the author of 238 publications in well-known scientific journals and 20 publications in scientific books. In addition, his work has also been rewarded with an endless series of national and international awards.

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