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Cisca Wijmenga to step down as head of department of genetics

13 December 2016

Dear colleagues,

On 1st January it will be 10 years since I first came to Groningen to become the new head of department for genetics. Now, 10 years later, I am very grateful to look back at a fantastic period. Together we have achieved such a lot: not only changes within our organization (including the combining of the DNA and cytogenetics labs and diagnostics, and setting up the new sections for O&I and Systems Genetics); changes in our working set up (including the flexible New Way of Working); the integration of clinical care and research (including using RNA for diagnostics and our strong focus on bioinformatics); the many innovations (like web-consulting, preconception screening, and 5GPM); the top performance of the research section (for example, many personal grants awarded and regular papers in leading journals); but also all the people who make up our department. We have a wonderful department and I am proud of the spirit, quality, and the unconditional effort from each of you.

This has enabled me to decide, after 10 years, to step down from my position as head of department. I can pass on a fantastic department, which I will be very happy to continue to be part of, but then with my focus on my research work. Two large funds (the ERC Advanced Investigator grant and the Spinoza prize) will allow me to pursue sufficient challenges in the scientific field.

You will be informed later today by the UMCG Board of Management or by Richard Koekkoek about the procedure to be followed to find a successor. I look forward to talking to you personally during the Christmas drinks later this afternoon.

With very best wishes,

Dear colleagues,
Cisca Wijmenga has informed the UMCG Board of Management Board that she would like to step down from her position as head of the department per 31 st December 2016. The Board has agreed to her request. Cisca has been head of the Department of Genetics for the past ten years and has helped the department grow into a national and international leader in the fields of patient care and research. We are deeply grateful to Cisca for the results she has achieved and particularly for the way in which she has fulfilled her position as department head.
As you know, Cisca has been awarded various prizes and subsidies for her research (including an ERC grant and the Spinoza award). These funds will allow Cisca to build on her research projects and her focus will lie on her research work within the department from 1 st January 2017.
The Board of Management has agreed with the department’s Management Team to start the process of looking to appoint a new head of department. Together with some staff representatives, we aim to conduct a careful selection procedure and to take the time to draw up the desired profile. The actual application process will therefore be started in the second quarter of 2017.
In the meantime, Richard Sinke has agreed to act as interim head of department from 1 st January. We would like to convey our best wishes to him in this position.
With best wishes
On behalf of the Board of Management
Henk Snapper
Last modified:13 December 2016 11.34 a.m.
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