He has been affiliated with the LUMC's Department of Immunology since 1988. In 1994, he became associate professor and in 2006 he was appointed professor of Immunology. Throughout his career, Professor Koning made a major scientific contribution to the field of Immunology, particularly in T-cell based recognition of antigen in health and in immune-mediated diseases.
Professor Koning has made a number of discoveries that are important for the prevention and control of intestinal auto-inflammatory diseases, in particular Celiac disease. He helped to unravel how Celiac disease develops, identifying the trigger for harmful T-cell responses associated with this disease. Thereby he has contributed not only to a better understanding of the disease, but also to better diagnosis and therapy.
Professor Koning pioneered the application of mass cytometry for detection and characterization of immune cells in tissues. This has led to new insights into the development of inflammatory diseases in the intestine, as well as in the formation of the immune system during fetal development. He has also been a key driving force in making this innovative technology widely available to other researchers at the LUMC.
After his farewell symposium, Frits Koning received a Royal Award. As a recognition of the scientific and clinically relevant achievements throughout his career, he was appointed ‘Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion’.