Dr. Thijssen's research is focused on exploring the relationship between physical (in)activity and the development of chronic diseases (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity). More specifically, he focuses on the role of shear stress (i.e. the frictional force of blood on the arterial wall) by mediating changes and adaptations in cardiovascular function and structure, which relate to the development of (co)morbidities. Using this knowledge, he aims to understand and optimise the effects of exercise training to prevent morbidity and mortality in various (pathology) groups by examining novel interventions, such as high-intensity exercise, and combining exercise with (local and systemic) heat exposure, ischemic preconditioning, or pharmacological treatment.
Dr. Thijssen has profound expertise on the state-of-the-art invasive and non-invasive measurement of vascular function and structure in humans. He has written highly cited guidelines for the assessment of flow-mediated dilation and is currently leading an international working group on reference values for flow-mediated dilation.
Dr. Thijssen started his academic career at the Department of Physiology, Radboud University Medical Centre, where he finished his PhD on physical (in)activity and vascular adaptations in 2007. After a 3-year post-doc period at the Liverpool John Moores University, UK, he received an E Dekker-stipend from the Netherlands Heart Foundation to perform research at the Department of Physiology. Currently, he holds a Professorship at the Liverpool John Moores University and is the group leader of the Cardiovascular Group at the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Science (9 staff, 7 PhD-students).
National & International Personal Prizes & Awards
- 2014: Radboud University Internationalization Prize
- 2012: Honourable Mention at the European Athletics Innovation Award
- 2012: New Investigator Award from the American College of Sports Medicine (USA)
- 2012: Award for outstanding publication track record (Dept Physiology, Radboudumc)
- 2011: Poster Presentation Award at the international CardioVascularConference (Noordwijkerhout)
- 2009: Oded Bar-Or Award for International Scholars from the American College of Sports Medicine (USA)
- 2008: Young Physiologists Prize for oral presentation at the European College of Sports Science (Estoril, Portugal)
- 2004: Young Physiologists Prize for the best oral presentation at the annual Young Physiologists Day
- 2003: Annual faculty prize (Biomedical Health Sciences, Radboudumc) for the best MSc-thesis.