Who am I?
My name is Prof. dr. Gerard Pasterkamp, MD. I am manager of the division LAB within the UMCU and act as principal investigator in the laboratory of clinical chemistry. My research interests are in the field of cardiovascular biology and innovation in biomarkers and drug targets. The research group houses the largest atherosclerotic plaque biobank worldwide: Athero Express including >4000 patients. This biobank has generated new insights into determinants of plaque destabilization. I coordinate national and EU based consortia with the aim to unravel biomarkers and mechanisms of atherosclerotic disease. I am supervising three public private grants with the aim to develop novel biomarkers and imaging technology to detect cardiac ischemia and endothelial dysfunction. In 2018 I obtained a LeDucq grant together with Prof. G. Owens (Virginia University).
Why do I think this program is important?
Being an excellent researcher is a major factor that determines a successful career in an academic environment. However, for the next step it is also important to step outside the comfort zone of a lab or research group and understand the managerial challenges that one will be confronted with. It is then relevant to understand what are the scopes of the fundraisers, the society in general (including patients), the University, the EU and also the private sector. This program will broaden the scope and view of the talented researchers.
What do I expect from the participants?
Absorb information, think in terms of opportunities and not in terms of restrictions. Of course it is a challenge to build your own research group and feel the responsibilities that come with it. But always realize: you have the possibility to convert your creative ideas into reality and not only read the news, but write the news.