Diabetes Moonshot - Leadership Team (LT)
Eelco de Koning (1963) received his medical doctorate at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, in 1991. In 1994, he started his research at the Diabetes Research Laboratories in Oxford which resulted in a PhD thesis. In the same year he started his training in Internal Medicine followed by a fellowship in Endocrinology at the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU). He was board certified in endocrinology in 2001. He joined the research group of Ton Rabelink at the UMCU focusing on complications in diabetes mellitus. In 2004 this group moved to the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). From 2004-2005 he joined the groups of Susan Bonner-Weir and Gordon Weir at the Department of Islet Transplantation and Cell Biology (Joslin Diabetes Center). In 2006 he returned to the LUMC to establish a laboratory for human islet isolation under GMP conditions and to direct the clinical islet transplantation program in the Netherlands. In 2010 he also joined the Hubrecht Institute focusing on islet progenitor cell research. He was appointed Professor of diabetology at the University of Leiden in 2011.
Niels Geijsen received his PhD at Utrecht University in 2000 studying cytokine signaling in the hematopoietic system. He completed his post-doctoral training in the lab of Dr. George Daley at MIT and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research where he pioneered a method for the in vitro generation of germ cells from embryonic stem cells. He is Professor at Utrecht University and he has his own research group at Hubrecht Institute. Dr. Geijsen’s research focuses on understanding the biology of pluripotent stem cells and developing new stem-cell based tools to explore human development and oncogenic transformation. He is also member of the scientific advisory committee at InnoSer and cofounder of Ntrans Technologies.
Patricia Y.W. Dankers, is Professor in Biomedical Materials in the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS) and the department of Biomedical Engineering, in the Laboratory of Chemical Biology and the Laboratory for Cell and Tissue Engineering, at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). She studied chemistry at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, where she majored in biochemistry and organic chemistry. In 2006, Patricia Dankers defended her PhD in natural sciences/chemistry at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the group of prof.dr. E.W. (Bert) Meijer. In 2006, she started working for the company SupraPolix in Eindhoven, and in the laboratory of Pathology and Medical Biology at the University Medical Center Groningen. She defended her second PhD thesis in medical sciences on kidney regenerative medicine in 2013. In 2010 she worked in the Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine at the Northwestern University in Chicago, USA, in the research group of Prof.dr. Samuel I. Stupp. Since 2017 she is Professor in Biomedical Materials at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Aart van Apeldoorn is an Assistant Professor and currently holds a position as a principal investigator in the MERLN institute for technology-inspired regenerative medicine at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and has an affilitated position in the MIRA Institute at the University of Twente and the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). There, he leads the Islet Research Group, which aims to develop a bioartificial pancreas for extrahepatic islet transplantation. Dr van Apeldoorn is currently the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Diabetes Cell Therapy Initiative and maintains a number of international and national collaborations. He received his PhD in 2005 at University of Twente, Enschede. Before starting the Islet Research Group, Dr van Apeldoorn was CEO and Founder of MicroCandela Systems and the project leader on a Dutch Platform for Tissue Engineering project on Raman imaging for tissue engineering, and he worked in the bone tissue engineering team at IsoTis (now part of Integra LifeSciences).