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Healthy Life Alliance chair for Prof. Folkert Kuipers (2016)

Prof. dr. Kuipers
Prof. dr. Kuipers

The University of Groningen has approved the installation of a ‘Named Chair’, Healthy Life Alliance, and has appointed Prof. Folkert Kuipers as its holder. The chair has been established to support the mission and ongoing activities of the Noaber Foundation regarding innovation and care in an ageing society. The decision stems from the long-term partnership between the Noaber Foundation, the University of Groningen and the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), and the Alliance for Healthy Ageing (AHA) formed with the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA and its associated networks. Activities are being extended and intensified within the Healthy Life Alliance, a new initiative of the Noaber Network.

Healthy Life Alliance chair

The vision and mission of the Healthy Life Alliance revolve around establishing an economically sustainable healthcare system, which focuses on Healthy Life from a holistic perspective based on the following themes: 1. Health & Healthcare; 2. Health & Food; 3. Health & Built Environment; 4. Health & Work and Leisure. Over the past few years, the current Noaber Network has concentrated its activities on the theme Healthcare, particularly in relation to Healthy Ageing. To uphold this vision and realize the ambition of making a greater impact, the network must now be expanded to include partners working in the areas of the themes identified in the mission of the HLA: improving impact by accelerating network growth.

The University of Groningen focuses its activities on 3 society-based themes: Energy Transition, Sustainable Society and Healthy Ageing. The mission of the UMCG is ‘ Building the future of health’. The UMCG strives for excellence in its core activities (patient care, research and training) with Healthy Ageing as a central theme from the life course perspective. This implies that activities are not restricted to treating a condition, but also encompass prevention and the retention of functions. The shift from a ‘single-disease’ approach towards a more holistic approach aimed at reducing the impact of multiple chronic conditions (multi-morbidity) on an individual’s ability to function (personalized health) is an essential part of this. Innovations in care are also necessary; these include the implementation of information technology and the use of Big Data, as well as new care concepts, an improved understanding of health and the role played by diet and other environmental factors, modifications in the home environment and enhancing the social context. This requires a multidisciplinary approach: the ongoing ageing of the population in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the world will have huge economic and social implications. In view of the parallel ambitions, the chair holder will have to focus on linking HLA initiatives with activities being undertaken by the University of Groningen, the UMCG and the Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands (HANNN).

Prof. Folkert Kuipers (1957) is Professor of Paediatrics and head of the UMCG Laboratory of Paediatrics. He was Dean and Vice-President of the Supervisory Board of the UMCG from September 2008 – March 2016.

Kuipers graduated in Biology at the University of Groningen (1982, with distinction) and was awarded a PhD in 1987 (also with distinction). In 1988, he was given a 5-year appointment as Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). In 1992, the Netherlands Heart Foundation appointed him as an ‘Established Investigator’ for a period of 5 years. His research focuses on the regulation and development of lipid and cholesterol metabolism and transport in the liver and intestines, and on the interaction between carbohydrate and fat metabolism associated with obesity and ageing. He is one of the initiators of the Alliance for Healthy Ageing, a transatlantic network organization.

Last modified:20 August 2021 12.07 p.m.
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