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Please learn more about colleagues in our "Personal Touch" series setting employees in the spotlight. A light-hearted manner to learn about the colleagues you know and those you don't!.

This week: Amrish Baidjoe






1. Name & Nationality
Amrish Y. Baidjoe, Dutch (with roots originating in Surinam), theme Poverty related diseases. 

2. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
A superhero who would safe people and fight global injustice using science as a tool, I still do pursue this dream. 

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study?
I studied biology. My MSc. had a strong focus on infectious disease. I studied in Wageningen and at the ErasmusMC

4. What is your current function and what would you like to achieve?
PhD. Student at the department of Medical Microbiology, Parasitology. Eradicating malaria would be quite the achievement but keeping it closer to this reality, I would like to supply a piece or two to the big puzzle of knowledge regarding the disease dynamics of malaria.

5. The RIMLS motto is 'to understand molecular mechanisms of disease'. Whatdoes this mean for you?
My work is quite applied in comparison to many projects being conducted in the RIMLS. However the more fundamental aspects of science are the building bricks of more applied projects like mine. Without proper understanding of all the complex mechanisms behind disease solutions will not be found. To discover the true solution we must travel as many roads as possible.

6. What is the biggest motivation in your work?
I worked quite a bit in East-Africa, a part of the world that shares the highest burden when it comes to infectious diseases. The burden of disease starts at an early stage in life for many children and studies have shown that this has an impact on how children develop. I like to contribute with local partners on scientific driven contributions that directly benefit the most vulnerable populations on this globe. The ironic thing is that you don’t necessarily need to travel across the globe to contribute to a better world.

7. What is your dream for the future?
World peace, but keeping it closer to myself and probably reality, graduating this year. Dreaming bigger and applied; more unison between science and society, less competition in science and being more open about scientific findings, being it either positive or negative findings, they are equally relevant. I strongly dislike the race for impact factors and knowledge remaining behind the closed paywalls of big publishers, this is not how science should be conducted. In a way we are inhibiting of ourselves and human kind by not sharing knowledge openly. I also hope that there will be slightly more attention for the people behind science, pressure and stress in the scientific community are highest amongst all professions as are all stress related illnesses, something we should take note off. Lastly I hope that science and scientist will be taking on a stronger role in political decision making.

8. Fun-facts. State an interesting/obscure fact about yourself together with two that are false? Correct answer will be revealed to readers in the subsequent edition.

A: I crusade the streets at night fighting crime
B: I am a happy morning person, am addressable before my first cup of coffee and am always the first one in at the office/lab
C: I like piña colada’s (and Whisky)

Correct answer will be revealed to readers in the subsequent edition.


Correct answer of Jonas Sondergaard : B

A: Like other short people, I am secretly planning to take over the world.
B: I have a theory that all Dutch food is brown (stamppot, kroketjes, bitterballetjes etc.)
C: After I broke my arm in a snowboard accident I learned to pipette with my feet.

State an interesting/obscure fact about yourself together with two that are false.

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