Where and when were you born?
I was born in Paterswolde, a place in the province of Drenthe. I was raised however in Bunne, a small hamlet close to Paterswolde and that nobody knows (203 inhabitants). Farmers and nature. My birth date was 30 August 1958. Abraham is already 7 years old!
Where do you live and with whom?
We live in Mook. My parents from the North of the Netherlands did not believe that I would ever be able to live in Limburg! I live with Marianne, my wife, who is a general practitioner, and a writer of children books. My children, Suzanne and Stijn have fled into independence when they started their academic studies.
Who was your role model when you were a kid?
Ivanhoe and president John F Kennedy in basic school, Bob Dylan in high school, later presenters like Mart Smeets and Mathijs van Nieuwkerk.
Why aren’t you doing the same thing now as your role model?
Unfortunately, knights do not exist anymore. My political aspirations are limited to a membership for D66, so I think I will not go for President. I do play the guitar, but only for friends. I am still hoping to be asked to replace Mathijs van Nieuwkerk.
What is the things in your (work or other) history that you are most proud of?
The allocation of 27 M€ to the ground-breaking PanACEA project. 9.7 M€ was allocated to Radboudumc for clinical trials in high dose rifampicin for which I am the Chief Investigator.
I have been working for five years in the College of Medicine of the University of Malawi in Blantyre as Departmental Head. I have seen the maturation of the Department and the development of the medical students fully trained in Malawi. I am proud to have been a part of that.
As the Director of the University Centre for Chronic Disease Dekkerswald I have seen the TB unit grow and the development of the Rehabilitation Centre, both recognized centres of expertise.
And last but not least I am proud of my children.
What is it that you would like to achieve in work in the next 5 to 10 years?
The identification of the right high dose rifampicin and giving the evidence that this will shorten the tuberculosis treatment and preventing the emergence of resistance. If in that process I will be awarded a chair for that work, I will be happy.
For what can we wake you up?
For the game where the Dutch football team finally becomes world champion.
What is your hobby and how good are you at it?
I have many hobbies: sport, skiing, watching films and series, enjoying and making good food, but one hobby is the most exciting: long distance walking. We have walked and are walking the E2, E8, E9, E11 and the Saint Jacobs Path. It is Burgundian walking with a good day in nature ending in a good pub or restaurant. How good I am in hobbies? I have been a skiing instructor when I was (much) young(er).
What is your biggest irritation?
The Geert Wilders mentality.
Who would you like to invite for dinner, if you had the chance?
Mathijs van Nieuwkerk, only if he offers me his job.
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