Scientific and local organizing committee
Prof. Dr. Jan G. Nijhuis
Jan G. Nijhuis (1952) graduated as MD in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He finished his PhD in 1984. He is one of the first ‘fetal watchers’ and his very first publication ‘Are there behavioural states in the human fetus?’ (Early Human Development 1982) became a classic article, because of the definitions of the four fetal behavioural states, 1F through 4F, similar to the sleep-states in the neonate. From that time, a series of publications led to an enormous change in insight in fetal behaviour, and many research groups worldwide have been studying several aspects of fetal behaviour. Insight in fetal behaviour is also necessary for a better insight in the fetal condition, and it has therefore had consequences for the interpretation of cardiotocography in clinical perinatology.
After he finished his training as a gynaecologist, he specialised further in obstetric perinatology. From 1987 he initiated further research at the University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and he also started a new division for prenatal diagnosis and therapy in the Catholic University Hospital of Nijmegen. He is the (co-)editor of many books in the field of fetal behaviour, fetal ultrasonography, and general obstetrics. He has also initiated the process of making nation guidelines, and started the “workinggroup Otterlo”, who is the major contributor of the obstetric guidelines.
In 1993 he received the ”De Snoo van ’t Hoogerhuijs” award for perinatal research. In 1999 he was appointed as professor in Obstetrics in the University Hospital Maastricht, and in 2006 he became head of the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology . From 2005-2007, he was president of the Dutch Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (NVOG), and president of the FNPS from 2009 – 2014. Since 2009 he is a member if the Dutch Health Council (Gezondheidsraad).
Dr. Jan B. Derks
Dr Jan Derks did his medical degree in 1991 at the University of Groningen, and his PhD in 1996 at the University of Utrecht (Prof. Dr. G.H. Visser) in collaboration with Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (Prof. Dr. P.W. Nathanielsz) on the subject of antenatal glucocorticoid administration. After his residencies in OB/GYN, he has been working since 2001 as a consultant in perinatology at the department of Perinatal Medicine at the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands. He is also the chairman of the division of fetal-maternal medicine of the Dutch College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. His main scientific interest is in antenatal neuroprotection and antenatal glucocorticoid administration. The translational research is in close collaboration with the University of Cambridge (Prof. Dr. D.A. Giussani).
Prof. Dr. Luc J.I. Zimmermann
Professor Luc J.I. Zimmermann was born in 1959 in Belgium. He graduated as MD in 1984 at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium and did his residency in Pediatrics at the same university, in the University Hospital Gasthuisberg Leuven, Belgium (1984-1989). He trained as a Fellow in Neonatology at the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto Perinatal Fellowship Program in Toronto, Canada from 1989 to 1992. From 1992 to 2003 he was a staff Neonatologist at the Erasmus Medical Center – Sophia in Rotterdam, where he was Chief of the Division of Neonatology a.i. from 2000 to 2003.
His PhD thesis (in 1995) was titled "Regulation of CTP:phosphocholine cytidylyltransferase in fetal type II cells". In 2003 he became a staff neonatologist at the Academic Hospital Maastricht, in 2004 Professor in Pediatrics and in 2005 Chief of the Division of Neonatology.
In 2006 he became Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics and Director of the Residency Program in Pediatrics (currently, he is deputy chairman of the residency program). Since 2006 he is also Division Leader of the Division Developmental Biology in the research school “Oncology and Developmental Biology-GROW”.
His main research interest is in neonatal lung development, surfactant, respiratory distress syndrome and bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
Since 2012 he is President of the European Society for Paediatric Research.