Bertine Koperberg was the daughter of a Dutch jewish family that survived the second world war in exile. As a young woman she suffered from an unknown connective tissue disease and died at the age of 31 years. Her family decided to start a foundation to improve education and research on connective tissue diseases. A board of directors was formed under the leadership of Bert Feltkamp, professor of autoimmunity in Amsterdam. That board decided to organize conferences in the field of connective tissue diseases, and so the Bertine Koperberg Conferences started. 

The first conference was organized in May 1975, on the theme: “Significance of determination of anti-DNA and DNA / Anti DNA complexes”. These small sized conferences had two aims:

  1. to function as a think tank: where should research in the field of connective tissue diseases move to?
  2. to stimulate interaction between established researchers with young upcoming researchers in this field.

At that time this formula was unique and attracted key opinion leaders in the field. Under the guidance of Leo van de Putte themes discussed included: Why the joint? (1994), Apoptosis and autoimmunity (1999) and Citrillination and Autoimmune diseases (2005). In 2012 the Royal Dutch Federation of Medicine appointed a new board of the Bertine Koperberg Foundation, now consisting of Hans Bijlsma (chair, emeritus professor of rheumatology), Tom Huizinga (secretary and treasurer, professor of rheumatology, Leiden), Timothy Radstake (professor of immunology, Utrecht) and Alexander Leijdesdorff (surgeon, representative of the Koperberg family). In 2014 a new conference was organized, on B cells in autoimmune diseases and for 2023 the theme will be Molecular Fingerprinting of autoimmune disease.
Young scientists working in the field of translational immunology / rheumatology are very welcome to submit their application in due time. The costs will be 100 Euro per person for the whole conference, including lodging and meals.
For registration click here


Sponsors of the 10th Berine Koperberg Conference:

AstraZeneca, Galapagos, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer,