A Personal Touch of Erik de Vrieze

Vrieze De , 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 de Vrieze






1. Name & Nationality
Erik de Vrieze, The Netherlands

2. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid I always wanted to be a doctor. However, at that time, I planned to study medicine instead of biology. And "doctor" did not mean getting my "PhD".  Still, I feel that I have made the right choice.

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study?
I studied medical biology in Nijmegen at the Science Faculty, from which I graduated in 2009. Afterwards, I did my PhD at the Department of Organismal Animal Physiology of the Science Faculty, where I studied the regenerative processes of zebrafish scales, and their application in bone research. I designed an assay based on fish scales that can be used as an alternative to rodent models in drug development.

4. What is your current function and what would you like to achieve?
I am currently applied as a post-doc at otolaryngology and human genetics where I study the pathophysiology of inherited deafblindness. This opportunity allows me to continue to work with the zebrafish and translate my findings towards patients. I hope to gain more insight in the things that go wrong in the eyes and ears of deafblind people. The ultimate goal is to apply this knowledge in the development of a therapy. 

5. The RIMLS motto is 'to understand molecular mechanisms of disease'. What does this mean for you?
The motto perfectly describes the majority of my current research. However, it is only the beginning. The ability to translate our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of disease towards therapeutic strategies is what makes it truly valuable.

6. What is the biggest motivation in your work?
The enthusiastic group of people that I work with, combined with the possibly to gain unique insights in the functioning of our eyes and ears, are more than sufficient motivation.

7. What is your dream for the future?
In terms of science, to see one of my findings becoming the foundation for a therapy.

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 often listen to symphonic metal on my way to work
B:           Every day I bike to work from my home in Wijchen
C:           I really like to explore the countryside and photograph birds


Correct answer of Gerty Schreibelt : C

State an interesting/obscure fact about yourself together with two that are false?
A: I have German ancestors
B: After a break of 10 years, I recently started playing soccer again
C: After a break of 10 years, I recently started playing flute in an orchestra

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