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Passionate scientist, mentor and teacher operating at the interfaces of organic chemistry with (chemical) biology. Interested in anything that organic chemistry can contribute to the bigger questions about medicines and health. Equally interested in joining academic students in their journeys through science, amongst others by innovations integrating science and teaching.

I studied Organic Chemistry at Radboud University Nijmegen, where I graduated in August 1998. I subsequently worked at DSM Research as a temporary researcher on biocatalysis and organic oxidants until June 1999. Thereafter I moved to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, USA where I started my PhD work on organic ligands for nanocrystals and on the development of novel antioxidants.

After completion of my PhD work in 2003, I returned to the Netherlands where I joined the Division of Medicinal Chemistry as a postdoctoral fellow. During the next few years, I participated in various projects involving e.g. the development of histamine- and chemokine-receptor ligands as well as the study of derivatization reagents for ESI-MS techniques. In 2009 and 2023, I was appointed assistant and associate professor of Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry. My current research interests involve the design and synthesis of compounds that are of interest in biological contexts.

Here are some presentations highlighting key current research interests:
- Fragment-based drug discovery and the potential to use biomass, 2022
- Photopharmacology as applied to G protein-coupled receptor proteins
  (English, 2019 / Dutch, 2023). 

I also have an interest in educational innovation, preferably in a combination with chemistry. The focus in these efforts is on the use of IT tools to stimulate active learning and I have been exploring several of such approaches since 2010, supported by educational innovation grants from VU Amsterdam. In 2013, I received the Dutch national KNCV chemistry teaching award (awarded every three years to a teacher from Dutch academia). The innovation entitled 'Publish and Flourish', which I co-wrote with Danny Scholten, received the 2019 KnowVU Audience Award. Here is a workshop I gave in February 2020 on some of my educational innovations (application of Blended Learning and Flipped Classroom).

Other lifelong passions have been (and still are) inline skating, bicycling, metro systems, tattoos and life outside The Netherlands.

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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