Research into encephalitis and meningitis is incredibly important. To prevent this life-threatening disease, to understand why some people get it and others don’t, how a doctor can recognize it quickly and how specialists can come to an optimal treatment (so that damage to the brain can be minimized).

To share knowledge in this field as quickly as possible, it is crucial that academic research institutions from home and abroad cooperate as much as possible. That is what we go for and stand for!

And we interpret this cooperation broadly. We look for substantive collaborations, but also for partners who want to co-invest. Meanwhile, a number of studies are running which, in addition to ItsME Foundation as main sponsor, have also been made possible by Vermas Foundation and W.M. de Hoop foundation.

Currently, seven academic institutions are involved in the studies currently taking place (Dutch, British, Italian, Swedish and American). And we are continuing. Orientation talks with new institutes/initiatives are in full swing.

We also have a desire to develop a roadmap for the next 15-20 years that can give all academic institutions direction on what information/insights are still missing to get to the bottom of this disease.

Will you help us achieve our mission?

All donations are very welcome.

Do you have a research proposal?

Mail it to, we will submit it to our Scientific Advisory Board.


Amsterdam UMC
The Netherlands
Erasmus MC
The Netherlands
National Institutes of Health
United States
UCSD Medical Center
United States
Human Technopole
Karolinska Institutet
Wellcome Sanger Institute
United Kingdom

Ongoing research

Team Amsterdam UMC in collaboration with National Institute of Health USA, under supervision of Prof. Dr. Diederik van de Beek

Researching whether the same Covid-19 mechanism of neutralizing autoantibodies, might be at work in patients with pneumococcal meningitis.

Also supported by Vermas Foundation.

Team Karolinska Institutet under supervision of associate Prof. Dr. Federico Iovino

Investigating molecular mechanisms of neuronal damage caused by brain pneumococcal infections. Their goal is to establish new therapeutic approaches that interfere with such mechanisms, by blocking bacterial-neuron interaction, to protect neurons from injuries caused by bacterial interaction.

Team Erasmus MC under supervision of Dr. Maarten Titulaer

Applying a new and promising technique (HuScan) in patients with autoimmune encephalitis with or without prior viral encephalitis, to search for new antibodies that cause encephalitis or influence the severity.

Also supported by W.M. De Hoop Stichting.

Team Amsterdam UMC in collaboration with UC San Diego under supervision of Prof. Dr. Nina van Sorge

Researching whether the effect of antibiotics based on standard laboratory assays maybe underestimated with the risk that effective treatment of bacterial meningitis is withheld from the patient.

Team Human Technopole in collaboration with Erasmus MC under supervision of Dr. Oliver Harschnitz

Developing and applying state-of- the-art human stem cell models of the brainstem to identify new pathogenic antibodies that lead to autoimmune encephalitis.

Team Amsterdam UMC in collaboration with Wellcome Sanger Institute under supervision of Dr. Merijn Bijlsma

Researching if targeted prevention and treatment of Group B streptococcal (GBS) meningitis is possible, by testing for GBS virulence genes.

GBS is the most common cause of sepsis and meningitis in babies and leads to death or disability in a third of patients.