In May, 32-year-old Tim Möhlmann won the inaugural Young NCOH with his presentation on ‘Why Midges Matter’. He’s currently rounding off his PhD at Wageningen University (Laboratory of Entomology) on the same topic. It’s clearly a passion, but why exactly are midges so important to him? And why on earth does he sell ants in his spare time? It’s about time we did some exploratory research into this PhD candidate.
‘I have been curious about the human body since a young age. And especially in why some people fall ill, while others do not. During my education I learned a lot about human health and disease, but something was still missing. After my master MSc internship at the department of Microbiology & Systems Biology at TNO, I knew that I wanted to continue in the field of microbiome research. Its intriguing relationship with many different diseases and even with effectiveness in response to therapy is what makes this topic perfect for me.’
A flurry of activity surrounds the Netherlands Centre for One Health (NCOH) at the moment. The documents that will secure the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) as an NCOH Associate Partner are currently making the rounds. This will be the first step in strengthening the collaboration with the RIVM in a…
‘I have a stutter. Because of this, I’ve always had a curiosity for disease-related topics and how they develop. In order to avoid speaking situations, I hid in the lab as a medical microbiology technician. But analysing materials of individual patients left me yearning to see the bigger picture. After all, why were these people getting sick in the first place and what can we do about it? I completed my masters in evolutionary biology, with a thesis on disease in invasive parakeets, got control of my stutter and landed my dream job as a PhD student.’
The second Annual Scientific Meeting on May 30, 2018 has been a great success. Prevention and control of infectious diseases outbreaks are important societal challenges that require an integrated and balanced perspective in which human, veterinary, wildlife, and environmental elements and considerations are integrated. This One Health perspective was the overarching subject of the meeting.
One of the tropical diseases that have been on the rise in the past years is Zika. This disease is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Marc Lecuit of the Institut Pasteur in Paris is investigating how an infection with the Zika virus leads to microcephaly, a neurogenetic disorder that is accompanied by a smaller-than-normal size of the head.
Martijn van Hemert is one of the principal investigators at the Leiden University Medical Center Department of Medical Microbiology and will be speaking at the NCOH Annual Scientific Meeting on 30 May 2018 on the subject of inhibition of chikungunya virus replication.
Romy Zwittink is a researcher for the Department of Medical Microbiology at Leiden University Medical Centre and will be speaking at the NCOH Annual Scientific Meeting on 30 May 2018 on the subject of Clostridium difficile and the intestinal microbiome. We asked her three preliminary questions.
Studying pathogens in animals can provide important insights into disease development in humans. Zika virus is pathogenic to humans and nonhuman primates but does not naturally affect other species, complicating studies on pathogenesis and the evaluation of vaccines and antiviral therapies.
What makes the mosquito such a good vector of viruses? To answer this question, Ronald van Rij of Radboud university medical center is carrying out a detailed study of the defense system of the mosquito. In particular, he is looking at the role of small RNA fragments that are produced when the defense system attacks a virus.