A Personal Touch of Erik Aarntzen

Aarntzen , Erik

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: Erik Aarntzen






1. Name & Nationality
Erik Aarntzen, The Netherlands

2. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
At first I thought that I would become a teacher, then it switched to veterinary physician, and subsequently biologist, physiotherapist and politician… Broadly interested so to say…

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study?
I studied Medicine in Nijmegen and started my residency Internal Medicine in 2009. In 2009 I started my PhD at the department of Tumor Immunology, which I completed in 2013.

4. What is your current function and what would you like to achieve?
Currently, I am a resident Nuclear Medicine at the Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine. My short term aim is to become a Nuclear Medicine physician and to apply for a VENI, in order to continue my research activities. My horizon view? Applying clinical imaging techniques to improve our understanding of the interactions between tumor cells and their microenvironment, especially the immune system.

5. The RIMLS motto is 'to understand molecular mechanisms of disease'. What does this mean for you? 
Nuclear Medicine is the molecular imaging profession in the clinic, numerous probes are available to target a functional process on the molecular level. However, as indications for existing probes are increasing and new probes are being developed at fast pace, one should exactly understand the fate of the tracer in vivo to accurately interpet clinical images. In other words, understand the molecular mechanisms of physiology and disease.  

6. What is the biggest motivation in your work?
During my PhD trajectory, in which we applied dendritic cell based vaccination in late-stage melanoma patients, I have met so many patients that showed enormous resilience after hearing this devastating diagnosis. Somehow, they didn't give up and helped to push these experimental approaches forward. I take an example to that.

7. What is your dream for the future?
A comprehensive understanding of the factors that will influence the course of disease in cancer patients, so that 'individualized treatment' will become the standard approach in oncology.

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 am a fabulous gitar player...
B: I can sing like a nightingale...
C: No lunchbox is safe, I drum on nearly everything...


Correct answer of Rahajeng Tunjungputri : C

State an interesting/obscure fact about yourself together with two that are false?
A: I love everything about the outdoors and nature and think that the quieter the town I live in the better it is.
B: I can juggle three bowls in the air with my two hands, while singing a Lady Gaga song.
C: I'm an amateur singer/songwriter and my music is on http://soundcloud.com/ajengmd


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