Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Catharien Hilkens

Reader in Immunotherapy



I did my PhD research at the University of Amsterdam, where I worked on regulation of T cell immunity by dendritic cells. I then was awarded an EMBO fellowship to work on understanding how cytokines regulate T cell- and dendritic cell- function at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) laboratories in London. In October 2003 I joined Newcastle University, where I run a research group studying mechanisms underlying immune tolerance, and the development of dendritic cells as an immunotherapeutic tool.


Research Interests

I am an Immunologist with research expertise in dendritic cell biology and immune regulation. My aims are twofold and interleaved:
i) To develop and implement a new cellular therapy with tolerogenic dendritic cells for rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases caused by a breakdown in immune tolerance.
ii) To understand the mechanisms underlying immune regulation by dendritic cells in order to fuel and improve new areas of translational research.


My work is funded by the Arthritis Research Campaign, Medical Research Council and the JGWP Foundation.


Postgraduate Teaching

- I supervise PhD and MRes students.
- I teach at the 'Applied Immunobiology' and 'Musculoskeletal Science' MRes modules.