Speakers at the Student Research Conference 2018
Natural Sciences & Engineering
Michel Orrit was born on February 27, 1956 in Toulouse, France, and studied at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He obtained a Ph.D. physics in 1984 at Bordeaux University. During a post-doctoral stay in Göttingen (Germany) with H. Kuhn and D. Möbius, he studied Langmuir-Blodgett films doped with dyes. Back in Bordeaux, he and J. Bernard used the spectral hole-burning technique to investigate low-temperature dynamics and molecular orientation in these systems. They observed the first fluorescence signal from a single molecule in 1990. Their fluorescence excitation method was quickly adopted in several groups throughout the world, and was soon extended to room temperature in 1993. Since then, Orrit's group first in Bordeaux, then in Leiden (Netherlands) since 2001, has stressed the power of single-molecule spectroscopy to remove ensemble averaging and to reveal dynamics at molecular scales without need for synchronization. He continues developing and applying single-molecule techniques to soft matter, nanoparticle plasmonics and nonlinear optics. Michel Orrit recently received the Edison-Volta Prize of the European Physical Society in 2016, and the Spinoza Prize of the Dutch Science Foundation NWO in 2017.
Biomedical Sciences & Health
Eva van Rooij attended University Hospital Maastricht in the Netherlands where she received a Ph.D. at the department of Cardiology. She then went on to complete postdoctoral training in Molecular Biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the lab of Dr. Eric Olson where she served as lead scientist in the studies that linked microRNAs to cardiovascular disease. Her work subsequently became the foundation of miRagen Therapeutics, Inc., a company focused on the development of microRNA therapeutics.
In her current position she runs an academic lab at the Hubrecht Institute to further unveil the molecular signaling pathways that are relevant for cardiac biology. In 2013, she was awarded a prestigious ERC consolidator grant to study the function of microRNA in heart and metabolic disease. In 2014 she was a co-recipient of a transatlantic Fondation Leducq Network grant to dissect mechanism to enhance cardiac regeneration and in the same year she received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the European Society of Cardiology council on Basic Cardiovascular Science. In 2015 she obtained a CVON grant from the Dutch Heart foundation, a grant from the Dutch Life Sciences & Health sector and was appointed Professor in Molecular Cardiology at the Dept. of Cardiology of the UMC Utrecht. In 2016 she was a recipient of a European network grant (ERA-CVD) and received a Ammodo KNAW award for her outstanding contributions to fundamental science.
In her current work she combines high-end sequencing technologies, mouse genetics, animal models of heart disease, and molecular biology to identify the important pathways for cardiac remodeling and repair and explore ways to enhance cardiac efficacy of new drugs.
Social Sciences & Economics
Jos Walenkamp is emeritus lector (professor) and 'Fellow' International Cooperation at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, where he guided a research group investigating the acquisition of international competencies by students during study or internship abroad, in an international classroom and in a Dutch multiculturally composed classroom. He was originally trained as a biologist and studied the zoogeography, evolution and systematics of starfish (Asteroidea). Walenkamp worked in Mozambique, where he was dean of the Biology faculty at the Eduardo Mondlane University, and in Nigeria, where he managed the Training and Research Programmes of the European Commission. For many years he was director Development Cooperation of the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Education, Nuffic.
Humanities & Law
Willem van Genugten is an Emeritus Professor of International Law at Tilburg University. His alma mater is Radboud University in Nijmegen, where he studied both law and philosophy (graduation ‘with distinction’ and cum laude) and defended his PhD thesis.
He has been a.o. professor at the Minnesota School of Law, USA, co-founder and chair of the Center for Transboundary Legal Development at Tilburg University, Dean of the Tilburg Law Faculty (twice), chair of the board of the National Research School Human Rights, chair of the board of NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development and the editor/editor-in-chief of the Netherlands Yearbook of International Law. From 1991 until 2012, he held several policy advice positions for the Dutch government, a.o. as chair of the standing Commission on Human Rights of the Advisory Council of International Affairs.
At present, he is a.o. Professor of International Law by special appointment at North-West University, South Africa, chair of the Advisory Committee of the Dutch government’s Knowledge Platform for Security and the Rule of Law, chair of the International Law Association’s Committee on the Implementation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and chair of the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law.
He has published on a series of international law subjects, both in the classical legal sense and from a multi/interdisciplinary perspective, with a special focus on human rights (in the widest sense of the word) and economic actors and factors.
In his Tilburg period (1985-2015), he was involved as an applicant/co-applicant in nineteen successful larger research applications and assignments for contract research. So far, he supervised 35 PhD candidates on their way to the auditorium. In 2012, he was awarded a doctorate honoris causa by North-West University, South Africa for his “international legal stature” and his “passion for promoting international scholarly relations”.