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’.


Cystic Fibrosis (CF) can be detected in the Netherlands by taking a neonatal heel prick several days after birth. Paediatrician Annette Vernooij-Van Langen (37) conducted doctoral research on the benefits, consequences and cost-effectiveness of two new CF screening methods. The results of her research changed how neonatal heel pricks are performed in the Netherlands. Since 1 May 2011, all newborns are screened for CF. 

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.

Blood clotting research on the Alps

In Body
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 14:37
Oxygen deficiency increases the risk of thrombosis – at least, this was the suspicion. Now, thanks to a spectacular research expedition to the thin air atop an Alpine summit, there is certainty. The research leader Bas de Laat from Synapse, a spin-off company of Maastricht University, used a new testing method that can predict thrombosis early.

“To really sing you need guts”

In Alumni
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 08:44
It all started in Maastricht: Taking to the stage for the first time while still a student of Health Sciences. Overcoming her shyness to perform her own songs at Studium Generale’s Open Podium nights. And one thing led to another. She won the Grote Prijs van Nederland at the annual Dutch music awards in 2003, performed on the talk show De Wereld Draait Door and at the Dutch music festival Lowlands and released three albums. In her own words, “choosing is the hardest thing there is” – but singer/songwriter Marike Jager seems to have chosen exactly her own path.

Keep an ear out for Elia Formisano

In Mind
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 08:37
By the time this interview with Italian-born Elia Formisano, extraordinary professor of Neural Signal Analysis, takes place, it has been raining for days. We start with the obvious: would he not rather live and work in his home country? But Formisano feels at home in Maastricht, and the reason why becomes clear soon enough. "This is what keeps us here", he laughs, pointing at the 9.4 Tesla scanner – an enormous machine that would not be out of place in a science-fiction movie. In real life, however, this machine helps scientific dreams come true.

Machines with meaning

In Mind
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 08:06

Fundamental and applied research, international study programmes and new insights into imaging technology with super advanced MRI scanners – this is Brains Unlimited in a nutshell. Along with a new incubator building and new housing for the research groups of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, it is home to a first-rate scanning facility. The 9.4 Tesla MRI scanner is only the fourth of its kind worldwide, and opens up unlimited possibilities for researchers and entrepreneurs from all over the world. On 29 October HM The King Willem-Alexander will officially open Brains Unlimited. Maastricht University magazine interviews some of the brains behind the project.


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