Leading by example

In Body
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 08:51

Clemens van Blitterswijk’s tissue regeneration research group comes to Maastricht

“I’ve spent most of my career with one foot in academia and one in the business world. And I want to do both of them well.” Clemens van Blitterswijk is indeed ambitious – not to mention successful – in both domains. He has received numerous awards, is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and was recently named the most entrepreneurial scientist in the country. His research group, which specialises in bone and cartilage repair, is among the best in the world. This year, the group will be relocating to Maastricht University as the MERLN Institutefor Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine.

Excessive alcohol consumption fosters risk behaviour and addiction. But government action is often a long time coming, observe addiction researchers Ronald Knibbe and Dike van de Mheen. Health services for alcoholics may have greatly improved, but they are no substitute for changing drinking behaviour and preventing alcoholism in the first place. And until the government takes action, researchers must stay on its case.

When marriage becomes a prison

Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:34

“Till death do us part” – or divorce, we should perhaps add to that most famous of all marriage vows. In the Netherlands, one in three marriages ends in divorce. And the Dutch government has plans to permit divorce without judicial intervention, which means – in some cases at least – separating is set to become even easier. However, the end of a civil marriage does not necessarily imply the end of its religious equivalent. This is a serious social problem for religious and migrant communities in our multicultural society, and can even lead to instances of marital captivity.

“We were adults in miniature”

Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:14

The three gowns – two red ones from Maastricht University and a black one from the University of Amsterdam – are lugged along in grocery bags for the photo session. It’s not often that three brothers, born into a middle-class family, all become professors. “True. But you might do better to ask why only three of the seven of us became professors”, jokes the oldest of the three. Gynaecologist Jan Nijhuis (UM), psychologist Frans Nijhuis (UM) and cultural scientist Ton Nijhuis (now UvA, but formerly of UM) talk about injustice, courage and long hair.

“Pavlov, does that ring a bell?”

In Mind
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 14:57

According to ‘eating professor’ Anita Jansen, a scientist must also be a writer. Those who write clearly think clearly, she teaches her PhD candidates. And apparently, they listen: Karolien van den Akker is barely halfway through her PhD research, but has already won the Publication Prize of the journal De Psycholoog. “I can’t stand ‘authority arguments’”, says Jansen. “You know, of the sort: I’m a professor so that’s how it is.”

Reading a paper on the moon

In Body
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 08:45

Peter Peters rides his tractor from his father’s farm to his grandfather’s farm. His grandfather is also called Peter, as are many of the eldest sons in the Peters family. With fitting pride, this Peter shows off his ancestral land in Hunsel, Central Limburg. Well into his teens, it seemed that he, like his forefathers, would spend his life on this land. Until he was bitten by the research bug, that is. Now a professor of Nanobiology, he is one of the world’s leading experts in nanomolecular research on the immune system. “Quite the contrast, isn’t it?”, he says from his oldtimer. Peters recently became Maastricht University’s first ‘university professor’.

Our bladder is not only controlled by signals from our brain – it also has its own regulatory mechanism. On 22 November, Sajjad Rahnama’i (34), a medical doctor from Iran, will defend his PhD research on overactive bladder syndrome (OAB). The Maastricht University (UM) researcher was the first in the world to identify prostaglandin E receptors in the bladder wall that can help in the treatment of OAB.

“Every individual with a developmental disorder has the right to a diagnosis.” These are the words of Connie Stumpel, professor of Clinical Genetics at Maastricht University and head of the Clinical Genetics outpatient clinic at the MUMC+. She also chairs the board of the Stichting Vooruit, a foundation for children with disabilities.

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