Beyond the scientist: David Burger


Beyond the scientist: David Burger








Where and when were you born?

Ridderkerk, a small town close to Rotterdam. My father worked at the Europe Container Terminals in the port of Rotterdam. I was born on October 20, 1964 so last year I saw Abraham

Where do you live and with whom?

I live close to the Radboudumc in Nijmegen, and also close to the Goffert stadium so I can walk to see the home matches of my favorite team: NEC. Everybody at RIHS should know what this abbreviation means: Nijmegen Eendracht Combinatie. I’m living there with my partner Marga, unfortunately she does not like soccer.

Who was your role model when you were a kid?

For a boy who grew up in the early 70s when Ajax had its golden years with winning the Europa Cup 1 (now called Champions League) three years in a row, it’s not a surprise that Johan Cruyff was my favorite. Or actually Ruud Krol was more favorite as he also played left wing-back.

Why aren’t you doing the same thing now as your role model (or do you?)

I tried to. I was a moderately talented left wing-back at the local soccer club of Barendrecht where I grew up. I once scored an own goal at the most important tournament of the year and then I realized I might be better focus on science.

What is the thing in your (work or other) history that you are most proud of?

As of to date, I have supervised 18 students with a completed PhD thesis and each time when I’m sitting in the corona watching my pupil defending her/his thesis it makes me so proud. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing young people to mature and finally present themselves as independent researchers. Not surprising, a few of them still work with me here at the Radboudumc.

What is it that you would like to achieve in work in the next 5 to 10 years?

For a long time my own research was very much focused on HIV infection. Now I’m leading a research group of clinical pharmacologists studying not only HIV infection, but also tuberculosis, invasive fungal diseases, hepatitis C virus, cancer, etc. As a Professor of Clinical Pharmacy it is my ambition to improve pharmacotherapy for a wide range of diseases.

For what can we wake you up?

I’m a fanatic 4daagse participant, so you better wake me up early as the start is at 4AM!

What is your hobby and how good are you at it?

Besides backpacking, soccer, long distance walking, 7 hills run and being a director of a monthly Film club at Lux cinema I very much like to do Pub quizzes. Recently, we ended as 3rd out of the 17 teams participating in the Internationalisation Pub Quiz, so only 2 teams left to beat!

What is your biggest irritation?

Soccer hooligans.

Who would you like to invite for dinner, if you had the chance?

My former AMC colleague and friend Joep Lange, who passed away last year in the MH17 crash. If I can have dinner with him this whole tragedy may only have been a nightmare


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