Where and when were you born?
In the vicarage of the small Frysian village Woudsend (1977).
Where do you live and with whom?
In Nijmegen very close to the Goffert Park, together with my wife Alma and three kids Jelle (5), Sven (3) and Femke (1)
Who was your role model when you were a kid?
The boy book hero Brammetje Bond, who made me feel very disappointed with my adventureless boyhood. Soon after that the great explorers like Henry Morton Stanley and David Livingstone became my heroes.
Why aren’t you doing the same thing now as your role model (or do you?)
I try to live like an explorer but there just aren’t many white spots left on the map. Next year I hope to visit Congo for the first time in my life, that is probably as close as I will ever get to Stanley. Stanley was also an impressive liar who fabricated many of his best stories; I try to stay far away from that in science.
What is the thing in your (work or other) history that you are most proud of?
Work of an MSc and two PhD students in my team has contributed to a better treatment guideline of the World Health Organization for preventing the spread of malaria. That also stimulated a lot of interesting research with cool colleagues. That is about as good as it gets in science.
What is it that you would like to achieve in work in the next 5 to 10 years?
Together with colleagues at Radboudumc, I hope to develop a solid academic partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières (Artsen zonder Grenzen). I also hope to spend some time in the tropics with my family, preferably in a country with good food and fantastic weather.
For what can we wake you up?
I don’t need to be woken up. I am a notorious insomniac.
What is your hobby and how good are you at it?
I am pretty talentless. My wife has all the talents. I do enjoy photography, reading, writing, good movies and baking cakes with my children.
What is your biggest irritation?
My biggest irritation is that facts seem to have so little impact on politics and public opinion. That and fat-free yoghurt.
Who would you like to invite for dinner, if you had the chance?
David van Reybrouck. He is full of great stories and great ideas.
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