A Personal Touch of Steef Kurstjens


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:  Steef Kurstjens






1. Name, nationality, current function & department?
Steef Kurstjens, Dutch, PhD student at the Dept. of Physiology, 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?
I was born and raised in beautiful Nijmegen (Brakkestein). When I was little I wanted to become an archaeologist, as I was very interested in the civilizations of Ancient Rome & Greece. However, in high school my passion was in science-related subjects (math/physics/biology), with particular interest in the functioning of the human body.

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why did you choose that study/those studies? 
After finishing high school at ‘Stedelijk Gymnasium Nijmegen’ I got my bachelor Biomedical Sciences at the Radboudumc Nijmegen. I chose this study as I was interested in science and the functioning of the human body and had no interest of becoming a doctor. Hereafter, I got my Master’s degree in Human Pathobiology with the track ‘infectious diseases’.

4. Which international scientist inspires/inspired you the most? Please give a motivation why.
Maybe a bit of a cheesy answer, but my great example as a scientist is my supervisor Jeroen de Baaij. Besides being the face of the RIMLS, he has taught me a lot about all aspects of research: including planning, scientific writing and animal studies. I admire the way he is able to supervise 4 PhD students, write successful grants and still finds the time to perform his own research.

5. Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud? 
I showed that an extensive amount (30%) of type 2 diabetes patients have too low plasma magnesium levels (hypomagnesemia). This hypomagnesemia is caused by factors underlying type 2 diabetes, and is not due to polypharmacy. This was accepted for publication in The European Journal of Endocrinology last week.

6. Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform? 
Develop a more time-efficient alternative to Western Blotting. The current method stems from the 70s and is extremely time-consuming.

7. What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)?
Two laptops, with loads of cables everywhere.  I think I am the winner of the messiest desk/bench of the department. Luckily, I’m not that unorganized in my research.

8. Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her? 
Anique ter Braake, I dare you to come to work in your pajamas!

9. What type of person are you, quick insights:
a) Mac or PC?:
PC (a dangerous thing to say at our department)
b) Theater or cinema?:
c) Dine out or dine in?:
Dine in
d) Ferrari or Fiat?:
What’s the difference?
e) Shopaholic or chocoholic?:
f) Culture or Nature:

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