Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dr. Irma Verdonck accepts her chair in Cancer Research with a specific focus on ‘living with cancer’

Yesterday Dr. Irma Verdonck gave her inaugural address on ‘Living with Cancer’ to accept her endowed chair on behalf of the Alpe D’Huzes foundation, a charity that organizes cycling events to raise money for cancer research, especially to improve long-term perspectives for cancer patients.
Dr. Verdonck presented her plans to build a large cohort study of cancer patients to get better insights in the associations between living with cancer and mental health, as well as to build and research an e-health system to better promote psychosocial health among cancer survivors. Her chair is embedded in the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, and she will work closely, in a joint research program, with the CCA-V/Ici cancer research institute of the VU University Medical Center.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The annual meeting of the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research

Last Thursday we had the annual meeting of the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research at 'Pakhuis de Zwijger'. Our guest Prof. Ronald Stolk of the Groningen University Medical Center, was the first speaker. He introduced the LifeLines project to the EMGO community. LifeLines is a cohort study in a large representative sample of the population of the northern provinces of the Netherlands, covering three generations. The main objective is to unravel the interaction between genetic and environmental factors in the development of multifactorial diseases, their concurrent development in individuals and their complications as a complex trait. The rest of the morning program was devoted to our own cohort studies, i.e. the Twin Registry, Nesda & Nesdo, Lasa, CheckIt, ABCD, Hoorn and AGGO; studies covering the whole life course from newly born infants to the very old. These cohort studies were presented, each in 5 minutes, and afterwards we worked on new research plans on further exploiting these cohorts, preferably combining more than one of the EMGO cohort studies.
In the afternoon the four research programs of the institute met in separate parallel sessions. At the end of the day, the junior researchers who had received a travel grant in the past year, and the researchers who received an EMGO fellowship in the past year presented their research. Finally the EMGO science award and Societal Impact award were announced. Drs. Wilma Waterlander and Ingrid Steenhuis of the Department of Health Sciences received the Societal Impact Award for their studies and ministerial advice on pricing strategies to promote healthier diet. Marijn Distel received the Science Award for her paper 'The five factor model of personality and borderline personality disorder: A genetic anlaysis of comorbidity', published in Biological Psychology.