Beyond the scientist: Esther Tanck

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Everything you always wanted to know about Esther Tanck, associate professor at the Orthopaedic Reseach Lab and one of the RIHS mentors for the Biomedical Sciences Master's students. 


Where and when were you born?

I was born in Zevenaar on November 18th 1971. I grew up in Babberich, which is a little town near Zevenaar, with my parents and younger brother and sister. In the first years of my life, our house and the Rabobank were one building under the same roof, later we moved to a detached house.

Where do you live and with whom?

I live in Arnhem (Schaarsbergen), with my husband Albert who is a judge, our two children Mette (13) and Miika (10), and two rabbits Salto and Bubka.

Who was your role model when you were a kid?

My dad was probably one of the first role models. He was goalkeeper of the local soccer team and director of the Rabobank in town. I spent many hours on the soccer field and at the office to ‘help’ him with financial stuff. I also remember other role models such as teachers from primary school, and top sports people like Marco van Basten, Aurelia Dobre, Sergey Bubka, Hein Vergeer, and Bettine Vriesekoop.

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

Well, it is rather impossible to do everything my role models did. However, I enjoy the variation in my life including teaching, coaching, coordinating, doing research, family life, travelling and sports.

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

Education: when I became a major tutor for students interested in movement sciences I got the opportunity to coach students in their early career to get the best out of themselves and their study. It is wonderful to be part of this process of growth and development.

Research: about ten years ago I received a VENI grant; I was proud when we managed to create the first version of a computer model to predict fracture load in femurs with a metastatic lesion. Recently one of my PhD students was awarded with a European thesis award, she really made me proud.

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

I want to play a key role in the curriculum, continue with my research group and implement the computer models into clinical practice.

For what can we wake you up?

Watching an exciting sports competition.

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

Sports, I used to be pretty good at it. I won several medals at Dutch Championships in table tennis, triathlon and run-bike-run. Nowadays I run for fun and enjoy watching Mette doing Gymnastics at Gymnastics Center Arnhem and Miika playing soccer at Vitesse (U11).

What is your biggest irritation?

Difficult question. Maybe that many people spend so many hours in the virtual world of their smart phones; they often forget to live in the real world. I have to admit that I can improve myself on this issue as well.

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

Barack Obama


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