A Personal Touch of Jeroen Langereis

langereis, jeroen.jpg

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: Jeroen Langereis






1. Name, nationality, current function, department & theme?
Jeroen Langereis, Dutch, Postdoc at the Dept. of Pediatric infectious diseases, theme Infectious diseases and global health.

2. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? Can you tell us something about your childhood years. 
Probably fireman. But after high school, I wanted to work in a lab, and this was before all the CSI series were on TV. I have a twin brother and three sisters, and my brother and one of my sisters also choose laboratory school. Apparently working in a lab runs in the family.

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why did you choose that study/those studies? 
That is was long tract. Started with clinical chemistry at middle laboratory school (MLO) in Deventer, then molecular biology and higher laboratory school (HLO) in Utrecht, followed by a master biomolecular sciences at Utrecht University. My PhD was at the UMC Utrecht with the department of pulmonary medicine where I studied the function of the neutrophils in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

4. The RIMLS motto is ‘to understand molecular mechanisms of disease’. What does this mean for you?
Currently, I work with Haemophilus influenzae, a bacterium that mainly causes otitis media and exacerbations of patients with COPD. But also invasive disease such as bacteremia. My goal is to understand the bacterial molecular mechanisms that enable this bacterium to cause these types of diseases becasue Haemophilus influenzae can also be present in our upper respiratory tract without causing disease symptoms.

5. Which international scientist inspires/inspired you the most? Please give a motivation why.
In my field, Jeffrey Weiser is an inspiriting and successful researcher. So I was really excited when I received a Longfonds Fellowship to visit his lab in Philadelphia two years ago. Even though he is very successful, he is down to earth and a great sparring partner.

In the Netherlands, I like the work from the Jos van Strijp group at the UMC Utrecht, identifying novel virulence factors though basic molecular microbiology.

6. Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud?
When I started working on Haemophilus influenzae, the binding partner for human factor H was unknown, which surprised me. By coincidence, we found that outer membrane protein P5 (ompP5) bound human factor H. Even though we were scooped by an other group who showed that human factor H bound ompP5, we were able to publish this finding in a great journal.

7. Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform?
Invest in basic molecular microbiology research. Nowadays, it is almost required to perform applied research, which is also important. But, interesting new findings are often the result of basic research, such as our discovery that ompP5 binds human factor H, which might be an interesting protein for development of a vaccine.

8. What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)? 
A few stacks of papers, most of those I still have to read. And a bunch of lab journals. What does this say about me or my research? I’m spending to much time in the lab and do not have enough time to read all literature I print.

9. Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her? 
Michiel van de Flier. Haemophilus influenzae or Streptococcus pneumoniae? And why?

10. What type of person are you, quick insights:
a) Mac or  PC:
b) Theater or Cinema:
c) Dine out or dine in: 
Dine in
d) Ferrari or Fiat:
Ferrari, but not the salary for that, so I’m driving a Kia
e) Schopaholic or chocoholic:
f) Culture or Nature:
Nature (also the journal). I live in Groesbeek with beautiful woods.

<< back to overview news items