The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has elected Cisca Wijmenga, professor of Human Genetics at the University Medical Center Groningen, a member of the Academy. The KNAW elects a maximum of 16 new members each year. This year 14 new members were elected, and they will be inaugurated on 10 September 2012 in the KNAW Trippenhuis.
Prof. Cisca Wijmenga has been professor of Human Genetics at the University of Groningen and head of the department of Genetics at the University Medical Center Groningen since 2007. Her research aims to gain insight into the genes that play a role in causing chronic diseases. Her research group concentrates in particular on the genetics of infection-related disorders, such as coeliac disease (gluten allergy) and inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis), but also studies chronic diseases such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Under her supervision, several genes have been discovered that play a role in causing such immune-related disorders. This knowledge is leading to new insights into the disease process and may possible lead to new treatments for patients.
The members of the KNAW are all prominent academics from all disciplines and are chosen on the basis of nominations within and outside the Academy. Membership is for life. The KNAW has about five hundred members.
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More than 200 researchers and their teams can begin to work on social and scientific issues in close collaboration with public and private parties. This close collaboration will take place in 17 research projects.