A Personal Touch of Jurjen Tel

Tel Jurjen 2014

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: Jurjen Tel






1. Name & Nationality
Jurjen Tel, Dutch

2. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a kid I had a wide interest and future careers varied from carpenter to neurologist

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study?
I obtained my Bachelor in Medical Microbiology at the NHL in Leeuwarden and thereafter I studied Medical Biology at the University of Groningen. In 2008 I started my PhD at the Department of Tumor Immunology in the RadboudUMC, which I completed in 2013.

4. What is your current function and what would you like to achieve?
Currently I am working as a postdoctoral researcher at the department of Tumor Immunology in close collaboration with the department of Physical Organic Chemistry on my Veni project 'Systems immunology at the single cell level'. The aim of my project is to decipher the cellular heterogeneity present in distinct immunological cell types by exploiting innovative droplet-based microfluidics. Understanding cellular heterogeneity will provide us with ample opportunities to improve cell-based vaccines to battle cancer and infectious diseases.

5. The RIMLS motto is 'to understand molecular mechanisms of disease'. What does this mean for you?
So far both in vivo animal models, as well as in vitro laboratory test tube experiments performed by biologists/immunologists only yield a global outcome of interactions of often millions of cells rather than providing insight in the functional contribution of individual immune cells. Recent advances in microfluidic techniques now allow for the first time to perform systematic high throughput immune function analyses of individual cells in a highly controlled manner. By exploiting this technique I can study well defined homogeneous immune cells for their capacity and plasticity in inducing immune responses. Studying immune interactions at this level of individual cells is the only way to unambiguously elucidate what cellular properties correlate with the induction of functions in another cell. I hypothesize that dissecting the heterogeneity within the known 'homogeneous' immune cell populations will aid in understanding the molecular/cellular mechanisms of diseases.

6. What is the biggest motivation in your work?
To work at and across the borders of research disciplines. Although interdisciplinary research is not always 'research in the fast lane', it is a very exciting and really fun position to work in. By approaching scientific challenges from different angles it allows you to think outside of the box leading to unanticipated solutions and ideas.

7. What is your dream for the future?
Scientifically; I hope that by 2050 we have managed to solve at least 50% of the scientific challenges we currently face in understanding and treating cancer and infectious diseases.
Personally; I hope that by 2050 I have the opportunity to retire and enjoy living the good life by running a small vineyard in the south of France.

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: As a born Frisian I have skated the "Elfstedentocht" twice...
B: During vacations I become a passionate wildlife and bird photographer...
C: After work I turn into a semi-professional lean mean knitting machine...

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


Correct answer of Michiel Pot : A

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

A: My first time in Nijmegen I wondered why everybody was dressed up and then it turned out to be carnival (which I never had and have celebrated before).
B: Before I moved to Enschede I could only speak Gronings.
C: Recently my cell culture experiment failed due to yeast infection as the result of my beer brewing activities at home.

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