A Personal Touch of Jelle Vriend

Vriend, Jelle.jpg

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: Jelle Vriend






1. Name, nationality, current function & department?
Jelle Vriend, Dutch, PhD student, Dept. of Pharmacology-Toxicology, theme Renal disorders.

2. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? Can you tell us something about your childhood years. 
Ranging from pilot or train operator to dentist or presenter. I wanted to become many things growing up.  I was an easy-going kid, a bit stuck in the middle and had a lot of imagination. I loved Lego and playing with cars. Next to that while playing, I would change my bedroom to a imaginary hospital or a swimming pool for example.

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why did you choose that study/those studies? 
I studied pharmaceutical sciences at the VU University in Amsterdam. I have always liked biochemistry and was interested in the mechanisms of diseases and finding drug targets. I also wanted to study something that I could use in anywhere in the world and wasn’t bound to just one country.  

4. The RIMLS motto is ‘to understand molecular mechanisms of disease’. What does this mean for you?
For me the RIMLS motto means to establish a functional 3D renal model and use this model to understand nephrotoxicity.

5. Which international scientist inspires/inspired you the most? Please give a motivation why.
That is a tough question, there are many great scientists. Best examples for me are scientists that endured many struggles but continued their research and were ultimately successful. As an example, Albert Einstein’s ideas were not popular among his colleagues but instead of letting that hold him back, he continued. Nowadays he is considered one of the great scientists ever.

6. Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud?
I have studied the cardioprotective effects of fatty acids in LPS-induced toxicity during an internship at the University of Alberta when I was a Master’s student. It was nice to elucidate the protective behind it and see some nice results after many failure before that. I guess dealing with failures is part of doing research. Once you have nice results, it was worth the struggles.

7. Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform? 
Develop the ultimate 3D model to study renal toxicity and develop a bio-artificial kidney.

8. What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)?
Organized. I’m easily distracted so I need a clean work space to focus. I also like to have things well organized and prepared in my research project.

9. Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her? 
Kioa Wijnsma, she likes to question other people a lot. I would like to ask her how she uses her curiosity as a scientist.

10. What type of person are you, quick insights:
a) Mac or  PC:
b) Theater or Cinema:
c) Dine out or dine in: 
Dine out
d) Ferrari or Fiat:
e) Schopaholic or chocoholic:
f) Culture or Nature:

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