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Erik de Heuvel obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree in molecular life sciences at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. During his bachelor internship at the Radboud University he investigated new designs of photocleavable linkers for diagnostics of congenital disorders of glycosylation. He performed his first master’s internship at Chiralix in a drug discovery program for the development of novel vanin-1 inhibitors. During his second master’s internship at Mercachem he was part of a hit-to-lead program to find a treatment for human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), based on phosphodiesterase inhibitors.

After he obtained his master’s degree in 2013 he started as a research chemist at Mercachem in a medicinal chemistry team.  In 2014 he started his PhD at the medicinal chemistry department under supervision of prof. dr. Iwan de Esch and prof. dr. Rob Leurs. As part of the EU-sponsored PDE4NPD program he will extend his master’s research on the development new treatments for various neglected parasitic diseases, such as HAT. He will focus on design and synthesis of new selective parasitic PDE ligands.