A personal touch of Tonke Raaijmakers

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Please learn more about colleagues in our "personal touch" series setting employees in the spotlight. A light-hearted manner to learn about the colleagues you know and those you don't!.

This week: Tonke Raaijmakers






1. Name, nationality, current function, department & theme?
Tonke Raaijmakers, PhD candidate, department of Radiation Oncology and department of Anesthesiology, Pain Management and Palliative Care, Theme Cancer development and immune defence 

2. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Can you tell us something about your child years. 
I grew up in Sint-Oedenrode, a small village near Eindhoven. I have a twin sister, with whom I played a lot (outside). We always kept eachother company. My idea of what I wanted to become was not as exciting as Moniek (who wanted to be a ‘underwater-biologist’, aka swimming with dolphins, at an early age). I wanted to interact with and help people, so teacher and doctor crossed my mind often. 

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why that study? 
I did my Bachelors and Masters Biomedical Sciences here at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. First I wanted to become a doctor, but after producing aspirin for my high school graduation project and a lot open days at different universities, I knew figuring out why things happen and being in a laboratory were more for me. 

4. The RIMLS motto is ‘to understand molecular mechanisms of disease’. What does this mean for you? 
By understanding the little pieces of a puzzle, you can better see what the total picture looks like. 

5. Who is your great example as scientists? And please give a motivation why.
During my internships at the RIMLS, I was surrounded by great female supervisors (Esmeralda Blaney Davidson, Cindy Dieteren, Sanna Rijpma), who were great in science, teaching and personal contact. Because of them and the exciting, productive internships, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the academia. I really look(ed) up to them. 

6. Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud? 
Has yet to come, but I’m working hard on figuring out if anesthetics and pain killers affect (anti-tumor) immunity, and thereby if we can adapt the type of anesthetics and pain killers to immunologically support rather than counteract anti-cancer therapies (including combination- and immunotherapies). 

7. Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform?
I’d like to develop a human testing model that makes animal experiments redundant.

8. What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)?
I’m really focussed when I’m performing experiments, making a lot of notes that end up on my desk. So my desk starts quite empty and gets more and more messy with notes and papers until I can’t handle it anymore and clean up everything. 

9. Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her?
Jolien Freriksen. Which version of the song ‘Jolene’ from Dolly Parton do you prefer: the normal or the slowed down version (33 rpm)? 

10. What type of person are you, quick insights:
a) Mac or PC?                               : PC
b) Theater or cinema?                 : Cinema
c) Dine out or dine in?                 : Dine out
d) Ferrari or Fiat?                         : Fiat (punto)
e) Shopaholic or chocoholic?    : Tony Chocolonely-holic
f) Culture or Nature                      : Both



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