Starting from 1995 my clinical tasks have focused on patients with severe cognitive, behavioral and linguistic disorders due to acquired brain injury and I was appointed professor Neurorehabilitation in 2012.
Further, I served as president of the Executive Committee of the International Brain Injury Association, as member of the board of the Rotterdam Stroke Service and as member of ICHOM (International Consortium of Health Outcomes Measurement) Steering Committee of the Stroke Standard set. In September 2018 I was appointed chair of the department of Rehabilitation Medicine of the Erasmus University MC.
This is what I am most proud of
We managed to improve the poor financial position of the department by improving acquisition of national and international funding, as well as public and private research collaborations.
Further we aimed for more diversity of the scientific staff through rejuvenation and integration of clinical researchers tripling staff size and integrating clinical researchers, early career post docs and involving PhD students. The Convergence of Health and Technology initiative was embraced and TU Delft professor Heike Vallery joined our scientific staff as lead of the research line Innovative Rehabilitation Technology in which we collaborate with Rijndam rehabilitation as clinical test and expert center. The department is involved in the education of students in the Bachelor and Master programs in Medicine, Clinical Technology (Rotterdam, Delft, Leiden), and in the education of medical specialists in post-academic teaching programs. The department has organized annual minor programs Rehabilitation & Sports and Neurorehabilitation (Bachelor Medicine, Erasmus University / Leiden University; Bachelor Clinical Technology, Delft University of Technology / Leiden University / Erasmus University) again in close collaboration with Rijndam.
Milestones for the coming 2 years
- The department faced an urgent housing problem for senior staff members. This will be solved this year allowing a hybrid model of onsite and remote work.
- We foresee that in 2021 we will have a third professor appointed in our scientific staff on “Personalized treatment of upper extremity disorders” in close collaboration with the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
- In 2022 professor Jaap Harlaar and myself will host the international congress on rehabilitation technology in AHOY: the Rehab week (see https://2022.rehabweek.org).
- We will continue to invest in the Convergence for Health and Technology Initiative in multiple projects and in instituting the Convergence Human Mobility Center a transitional research environment where clinicians, scientists, innovators and technologists collaborate in achieving science-driven breakthroughs in human ability.