Biosketch Erica van den Akker

Erica van den Akker, MD, PhD.
Pediatric endocrinologist

Department Pediatric Endocrinology
ErasmusMC-Sophia Childrens Hospital
Office Sp 1536
Wytemaweg 80
3015 CN The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)10 7036779
Fax. +31(0)10 7038589

Dr Erica van den Akker is head of division of pediatric endocrinology at the department of pediatrics Erasmus MC, Rotterdam. She is coördinator of the obesity clinic CGG pediatric division. She is member of the multidisciplinary team of the center of expertise of Turner syndrome and the center of expertise for disorders of sex development and of the center of expertise for brain tumors.  She is member of the international genetic obesity network and chair of the Dutch obesity in children working group (NVK). She is lecturer at the faculty of medicine, Erasmus University Rotterdam.  

Link naar linkedin 

Department profile
The department of pediatric endocrinology, Erasmus MC – Sophia is specialized in diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents with endocrine problems. We receive national and international referral. Our staff members participate in key roles in national and international Endocrine societies including the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology.  Our department, in alliance with LUMC , forms a network with 20 general hospitals for care of pediatric endocrinology in the south-west region of The Netherlands.  This network aims to deliver a uniform package of care for children and adolescents with endocrine diseases. These close relationships enable the pursuit of endocrine research based upon an integrated approach of clinical care and science. We have an active undergraduate and postgraduate education program and a large research program. Our NFU accredited centers of expertise have special focus on the subjects of growth (, obesity (, and disorders of sex development  (

Research focus

The main research focus of Dr Erica van den Akker is obesity in children. Studies concentrate on genetic obesity,  innovative treatment strategies for obese children.

Current projects.

  • Innovative treatment strategies  for obesity treatment in children
  • Epidemiological studies on the role of cortisol in the metabolic syndrome.
  • Steroid hormone concentrations from scalp hair in childhood reference ranges and adrenal disease.
  • A Double blind randomized intervention study aiming at reducing dexamethasone related side effects in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
  • Neuroimaging in childhood obesity


Dr Erica van den Akker is (co-) author of more than 80 publications with the majority in the top quartile). Below, a selection of recent papers. A full list of publications can be find at  Researchgate.

Lidewij T Warris, Mary M van den Heuvel-Eibrink, Femke K Aarsen, Saskia MF Pluijm, Marc B. Bierings, Cor van den Bos, Christian M Zwaan, Helene H Thygesen, Wim JE Tissing, Margreet A Veening, Rob Pieters, ELT van den Akker. Hydrocortisone as an intervention for Dexamethasone induced adverse effects in pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia: Results of a double-blind, randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol 2016 May 9.

Fani L, Bak S, Delhanty P, van Rossum EFC, van den Akker ELT. (2013) The melanocortin-4 receptor as target for obesity treatment, a systematic review of emerging pharmacological therapeutic options. Int J Ob, 38: 163-169.

Noppe G, van den Akker ELT, de Rijke YB, Koper JW, Jaddoe VW, van Rossum EFC. Long-term glucocorticoid concentrations as a risk factor for childhood obesity and adverse body fat distribution – The Generation R Study. Int J Ob, 2016

Rippe RCA, Noppe G, Windhorst DA, Tiemeier H, van Rossum EFC, Jaddoe VWV, Verhulst FC, Bakermans-Kranenburg MJ, van Ijzendoorn MH, van den Akker ELT. Splitting Hair for Cortisol? Associations of Socio-Economic Status, Ethnicity, Hair Color, Gender and Other Child Characteristics with Hair Cortisol and Cortisone.  Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2016;66:56-64.

Veldhorst M, Noppe G, Jongejan M, Kok C, Mekic S, Koper F, van Rossum EFC, Van den Akker ELT. Increased scalp hair cortisol in obese children. (2014) J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 99:285–290.

de Groot CJ, van den Akker EL, Rings EH, Delemarre-van de Waal HA, van der Grond J. Brain structure, executive function and appetitive traits in adolescent obesity. Pediatr Obes. May 2016

Keywords: obesity, children, pediatrics, endocrinology, corticosteroids, Researchgate

Member of National Section on Pediatric Endocrinology (NVK-SEK)
Member of Dutch society for Endocrinology (NVE)
Member of European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology (ESPE)
Member of European Society for Endocrinology (ESE)
Member of Endocrine Society (United States)
Member of the ESPE Obesity working group
Member of the NVK-SEK advisory group congenital hypothyroidism and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
Board member of National (NVK/SEK) working group pediatric obesity (WOK).
Board member AA van Beek-fonds, A non-profit organisation, providing funds supporting EUR students to travel abroad.