I focus on infectious diseases at the interface between humans, livestock, and wildlife. I am Professor of Comparative Pathology at the Department of Viroscience of the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where I perform research on emerging viral diseases such as avian influenza and MERS using a One Health approach. I am coordinator of “Zoonoses in the Night”, a Dutch project to evaluate the potential of viruses in bats to spread to people and domestic animals, co-coordinator of “Delta-Flu”, a European project to determine the key factors determining spread of avian influenza between poultry and wild birds, and past coordinator of “Antigone”, a European project investigating the underlying causes for the emergence of infectious diseases from animal reservoirs to humans.
Field(s) of expertise
Comparative pathology and Pathogenesis
The team focusing on Comparative Pathology provided back-up service in the Erasmus MC and other medical centres in the Netherlands and abroad on an ad hoc basis for patients suspected of viral infection, as well as providing advice on appropriate sample collection for histopathology and in situ virus detection. In the past five years, the team was also involved in diagnostic evaluation of fatal cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in the U.K., and cases of pulmonary and CNS influenza, Newcastle disease, rabies,and human metapneumovirus infections in the Netherlands.
Part of the Comparative Pathology team meetings included pathology rounds, where the pathology of patient biopsies or autopsy specimens are discussed and compared with similar cases from experimental or natural disease in animals.
Education and career
- 1988-1989: Clinical veterinarian, Mixed veterinary practices, Marssum and Hengstdijk, The Netherlands (full-time, fixed-term)
- 1989-1990: Research scientist, Central Veterinary Institute, Lelystad, The Netherlands (full-time, fixed-term)
- 1990-1993: Research scientist, Department of Veterinary Science, Institute of Zoology, London, U.K. (full-time, permanent)
- 1998-1999: Instructor, Department of Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada (part-time, fixed-term)
- 1999-2006: Research scientist, Department of Viroscience, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (full-time, permanent)
- 2006-present: Associate Professor of Comparative Pathology, Department of Viroscience, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (full-time, permanent)
I taught students in medicine, veterinary medicine, and other relevant disciplines (mainly medical biology) at Ba, MSc, Research Master, and PhD levels. The subjects I taught related to emerging viral diseases, and focused on underlying factors for emergence, barriers for emerging pathogens to cross from one host species to another, and comparative pathology and pathogenesis of these diseases in humans and in their animal reservoirs. In particular, I emphasized the potential for students to make use of pathology-based read-outs in their research, even though they did not have in-depth pathology training, and encouraged a "One Health" perspective, where students from different disciplines, including human medicine and vetererinary medicine, exchanged views and took account of the differences between their respective customs, viewpoints and values.
Theses supervised, as ‘Promotor
- 2007: Joost Philippa
- 2008: Jolianne Rijks
- 2010: Debby van Riel
- 2010: Leslie Reperant
- 2013: Judith van den Brand
- 2016: Josanne Verhagen
- 2019: Marjolein Poen
- Edwin Veldhuis-Kroeze
- Jurre Siegers
- Lineke Begeman
- Niels van Elk
My research group in the past five years was about 10 fte and consisted of postdocs, Ph.D. students, technicians and interns, who are largely supported by research grants on which I am P.I. or co-investigator, or (for postdocs) that I have supported. We have weekly meetings in which we discuss ongoing research.
As coordinator of ANTIGONE, an FP7-funded, large-scale integrating project involving 14 research groups from 7 European Member States, that ran from November 2011 to October 2016, I was responsible for the substantive and managerial progress, with the support of the Project Group. For the recently awarded H2020 grants DELTA-FLU (co-coordinator) and ZonMW grant ZOONOSES IN THE NIGHT (coordinator), I will have similar responsibilities in the coming years.
- Member, ZonMW Scientific Advisory Committee Infectious Diseases (Kuiken, 2012-2019)
- Member, ZonMW Scientific Advisory Committee Non-Alimentary Zoonoses (Kuiken, 2012-2019)
- Member of the ZonMW Cluster Health Protection, The Netherlands (Kuiken, since 2019)
- Member of Panel “EID" of the French Research Agency (Kuiken, since 2016)
- Member of Review Panel of German Research Foundation for proposal CRC 1021 “RNA viruses: University of Marburg, Germany (Kuiken, 2012)
- Member of the Scientific Review Panel of Vetsuisse, Bern, Switzerland (Kuiken, 2018)
Scholarships, grants, and awards
- 1994-1998: University of Saskatchewan Scholarship
- 1995: Rogar STB Graduate Student Award
- 2007-2008: Robert and Virginia Rausch Visiting Professor, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
- 2010: Recipient of the Journal of Comparative Pathology Plenary Lecture (J Comp. Pathol 143: 231-232, 2010)
- 2013: Recipient of the R.G. Thomson Lecture (Can Vet J 54, 944-947)
- 2013: Recipient of the 2013 Mid-Career Excellence Award from the American College of Veterinary