Strategic Advisory Board
Prof. Dr. Annemarie ScholsProfile
Prof. Dr. Annemie Schols has been recently appointed as the new dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) as of 1 June 2020. As Professor of Nutrition and Metabolism in Chronic Diseases, Prof. Dr. Schols has a long career within FHML, also as a researcher and as director of the School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM). Under her leadership, NUTRIM has grown into a worldwide Center of Excellence for research in the fields of obesity, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer cachexia.
In 2015, Schols was awarded the prestigious ERS COPD, being distinguished not only for her research work but also for her efforts to bring together all kinds of disciplines in the COPD research field and to build bridges.
Prof. Dr. Maarten MerkxProfile
Prof. Dr. Maarten Merkx became the dean of the TU/e department of Biomedical Engineering in November 2019, where he studied physical organic chemistry and biochemistry at the Radboud University Nijmegen (1995, cum laude). He did his PhD with Prof. Averill (1999, University of Amsterdam) working on purple acid phosphatases, and was an HSFP post-doctoral fellow with Prof. Lippard (MIT, 1999-2001). Currently he is a full professor in protein engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology, a core member of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS) and dean of the department of Biomedical Engineering. He obtained young investigator grants from NWO (VIDI 2006), an ERC Consolidator grant in 2011, and an ERC Proof of Concept grant in 2014 and 2017.
As the only Dutch scientist, he was invited in 2015 to speak at the World Economic forum in a session on the future of synthetic biology. In 2017, he reached the media with his expertise on DNA computing, amongst others an article on wired.com, and in 2019, he received an NWO Take Off grant to map the commercial possibilities of his glow-in-the-dark paper-based assays for point-of-care diagnostics. Furthermore, he was awarded multiple times as best teacher in the master’s program, and received the award for the best TU/e teacher at the master level in 2012. In November 2019, he became the dean of the TU/e department of Biomedical Engineering.
Prof. Dr. Arno W. HoesProfile
Arno W. Hoes studied Medicine at the Radboud University in Nijmegen and obtained his PhD degree at Erasmus University Rotterdam on a thesis on sudden cardiac death as a side effect of diuretics in hypertension. From 2010 to 2019, he was the Chair/Medical Manager of the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care of the UMC Utrecht. June 2019 he was appointed as vice-chair of the executive board of University Medical Center Utrecht and as dean of the medical faculty of Utrecht University / UMC Utrecht.
His main research topics include the prevention of cardiovascular disease and the early diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease, with an emphasis on heart failure. His teaching activities include courses on clinical epidemiology, diagnostic research, clinical trials, case-control studies and cardiovascular disease and prevention. He is also member of several Dutch and European health councils, boards and associations.
Prof. Dr. W.J.A. DhertProfile
Since December 2014, Wouter Dhert is the dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and full professor of translational musculoskeletal research at Utrecht University. From 2008 until 2014 he was full professor at the Dept. of Orthoapedics at the University Medical Center Utrecht and part-time professor at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. He studied Medicine at Leiden University after which he obtained a PhD at the Leiden Biomaterials Research Group in 1993. Until 2014 he was chair of the UMC Utrecht research program ‘Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cells’ and member of the management team (vice-chair - reseach and education) of the division of Surgical Specialties.
He is experienced in developing and leading teaching programs (e.g. PhD program ‘Regenerative Medicine’ as well as of the Master Program ‘Regenerative Medicine & Technology’ (in collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology) of the Utrecht University Graduate School of Life Sciences). He serves at several international committees/boards related to regenerative medicine and/or musculoskeletal research. In 2000 he was acknowledged as international Fellow in Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE), in 2001 he received the Dutch ‘Anna-award’ for establishing a ‘most-promising post-doctoral research line’. In 2008, he was President of the World Biomaterials Congress in Amsterdam.
Prof. Dr. Pancras HogendoornProfile
Pancras C.W. Hogendoorn is a professor of pathology, vice-chair of the Board of Directors, and dean of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). He is also a guest professor at Oxford University and the Free University of Brussels (FUB) and chairman of the Netherlands Committee for Bone Tumours, a member of the Supervisory Board of the care organization Pieter van Foreest, and the Royal Academy of Arts/Conservatoire.
Pancras C.W. Hogendoorn absolved Medical School and his doctoral research at Leiden University. Subsequently, Prof. Hogendoorn further specialized in oncologic pathology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) in Amsterdam and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. For more than 25 years, Prof. Hogendoorn has researched molecular pathogenesis and diagnostics of bone and soft-tissue tumors. He has over 400 scientific publications and various influential reviews and 28 chapters of books to his name. Currently, he is chairman of the Netherlands Committee for Bone Tumours, a member of the knowledge coalition for the Dutch National Research Agenda, Chief Scientific Officer of the top team Lifescience and Health, member of Education and Training (O&O) at the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), and chairman of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) Policy Group in Biomedicine.
Tom Oostrom (1964) has been Managing Director of the Dutch Kidney Foundation since 2010. He started as head of the policy section in 2005. With the motto "Life comes first" the Kidney Foundation gives everything to make sure kidney patients survive ánd their quality of life improves. Tom Oostrom learned from practice: he started out as a nurse. His drive is to make a real difference for kidney patients, to help make their lives livable.
Since 2012 Oostrom has been the chair of the cooperating healthcare funds (Samenwerkende Gezondheidsfondsen) in which 21 large funds are united. He is also a member of the Regiegroep Life Sciences & Health and is committed to promote active involvement of healthcare funds in the topsector policy. Oostrom is also vice-president of the NPHF, Federation for Health.In Leiden Oostrom studied to become a nurse (1986). He studied Policy & Management in Healthcare at Erasmus University Rotterdam (1991).
Hans Snijder is general director of the Dutch Heart Foundation since February 2022. In addition to a long history as a funder of innovative research into cardiovascular diseases, the Dutch Heart Foundation offers solutions to prevent heart problems, provide fast help when every minute counts and treat heart failure better. Given the sharp increase of healthcare costs, the Dutch Heart Foundation wants to accelerate its mission in the upcoming years: a healthy heart for everyone.
Snijder came over from the Princess Máxima Center for children’s oncology, where he was responsible for the media-strategy and the Princess Máxima Center Foundation in 2018 and 2019. He was also chairman of the supervisory board of national public broadcast company AVROTROS. Before that, Snijder was editor-in-chief of the Leeuwarder Courant. Snijder previously worked for several other Dutch Public Broadcasting companies, like the NOS and the NTR. He held various supervisory positions.
Diena Halbertsma is the general manager of the Diabetes Fund as of March 1st, 2022. Halbertsma is well-known with health funds. Over the past 16 years she had various roles at the Lung Fund. From 2018 she formed the board together with Michael Rutgers. She was also involved as a board member in the Long Alliance Netherlands. Halbertsma has extensive experience in strategy, marketing and developing partnerships. She studied Human Movement Sciences, VU Amsterdam (1988).
Diena Halbertsma fully supports the mission of the Diabetes Fund. 'A better quality of life and ultimately healing, that's why we do it for. I look forward to making a significant contribution to our mission together with the rest of the organisation.’ According to Halbertsma, there are major challenges ahead. 'I am concerned about the negative effects of unhealthy food and sugary drinks and the increase in the number of overweight people. This can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Halbertsma wants to stop this negative trend by working closely with partners, health insurers and politicians. '
Floor Dijkgraaf is general director of stichting DON, where she has worked since 2011. DON has only one goal: to cure type 1 diabetes. To achieve this goal, DON invests nationally and internationally in fundamental and clinical research aimed at a cure. This is made possible by the substantial annual support of donors and highly successful fundraising events.
Jan Willem FörchProfile
As of 1 January 2020, Jan-Willem Förch is the general director of ReumaNederland. Förch will lead the charity organization for over 2 million people with rheumatism. For the past six years, Förch was responsible for fundraising at the Dutch Cancer Society and was previously director of marketing and communication agencies.
“ReumaNederland is both a health fund and a modern patient organization, which is a strongly chosen course in which I have great confidence. In addition to fundraising, I look forward to expanding patient advocacy. ”
Prof. Dr. Marianne C. VerhaarProfile
Marianne C. Verhaar is a Nephrologist and Professor of Experimental Nephrology at the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. She is chair of the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension and heads a research group in Experimental Nephrology. In 1992 she started her Ph.D. project at the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension in Utrecht. She received her Ph.D. degree in 1999 and from 2000 to 2008 she worked as a staff member of Vascular Medicine and since 2003, also as head of the research laboratory 'Regenerative Vascular Medicine / Renal and Vascular Biology' in UMC Utrecht. In 2015 she has been appointed chair of the UMC Utrecht Research Program Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cells. Her research focuses on renal and vascular regeneration and involves translational studies from basic cell studies to clinical trials. Marianne Verhaar received several prestigious grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, the Dutch Heart Foundation, and the Dutch Kidney Foundation.
Prof Dr. Ton A.J. Rabelink (Moonshot Leader)Profile
Ton J Rabelink, MD, PhD, is professor of Medicine at the Leiden University Medical Center. He received his MD PhD degree from Utrecht University. After completing his residency and fellowships in internal medicine and nephrology he joined faculty of Utrecht Medical School in 1993. He subsequently became chairman of medicine in the University Hospital Utrecht from 1999 to 2004. In 2004 he moved to Leiden University Medical Center and became head of the department of Nephrology and Transplantation and in 2010 chairman of Medicine again. His main research interest has been in the area of vascular biology and its implications for renal function, and in regenerative therapies for kidney disease and diabetes. He coordinates the European-Australian consortium on stem cell based therapy for kidney disease (STELLAR) and is leading the Dutch National Science Agenda for regenerative medicine.
Prof. Dr. Carlijn V.C. BoutenProfile
Carlijn Bouten is professor of Cell-Matrix Interactions at the department Biomedical Engineering of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). She was trained in functional anatomy and biomechanics, as well as exercise physiology, at the department of Human Movement Sciences, VU Amsterdam, and obtained her PhD degree in 1995 from the TU/e. She performed postdoctoral research at the Université Laval (Quebec), University of London, and Eindhoven University of Technology. In 1998 she became assistant professor in Cellular Biomechanics in the department of Mechanical Engineering, TU/e, and in 2002 she became associate professor of Tissue Engineering in the department of Biomedical Engineering, TU/e. Her research concentrates on new engineering approaches to regenerate the tissues of the cardiovascular system. A particular example is the development of a synthetic, bio-degradable heart valve prosthesis that ‘seduces’ the body to create a new, living heart valve at the site of implantation. The research is performed in close collaboration with material scientists, life scientists and clinicians, and mainly executed within public-private partnerships. She is recipient of the prestigious Aspasia (2002) and VICI (2003) career development awards of the Dutch National Science Foundation and theme-leader ‘Regenerative Medicine’ of the strategic area Health at TU/e.
Prof. dr. Pamela HabibovićProfile
Pamela Habibovic is Professor of Inorganic Biomaterials at Maastricht University. She is the Scientific Director of MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine and Chair of MERLN’s Department for Instructive Biomaterials Engineering. Initially trained as a chemical engineer, in 2005, she obtained a PhD degree from the University of Twente, the Netherlands on the topic of materials for biomedical applications. Following postdoctoral research at Children’s Hospital Boston and McGill University, in 2008, she started her research group at the University of Twente.
In 2014, she moved to Maastricht University to cofound the MERLN Institute. The main focus of her research group is on synthetic bone graft substitutes, bioinorganics, nanomaterials for theranostics in regenerative medicine and high-throughput approaches in biomaterials research. For her research she received prestigious Veni, Vidi, Aspasia and Gravitation grants of the Dutch Research Council NWO, among other external research funds. She served as the President of the European Society for Biomaterials between 2017 and 2021. Habibovic is an Associate Editor of the RSC journal Biomaterials Science and an editorial board member of four other journals in the field. She has published over 100 peer-review articles on the topic of biomaterials and regenerative medicine.