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University Medical Center Groningen

dr. ir. M.C. (Martijn) Nawijn

Associate Professor
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Martijn C. Nawijn is a cellular immunologist and molecular geneticist, who received undergraduate training at Wageningen University (MSc; cum laude), and PhD training at Columbia University (New York) and ErasmusMC (Rotterdam). The subject of his PhD studies was the role of the transcription factor GATA3 in T cell development and differentiation of T cells and their oncogenic transformation in GATA-3 transgenic mice.

After finishing his PhD project, Martijn Nawijn continued his project as Columbian University (New York) as a PostDoc and then joined the lab of Anton Berns at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (Amsterdam), where he worked on the role of Pim family kinases in transformation of the prostate epithelium and the lymphoid lineage, by generating novel conditionally transgenic and knock-out mouse models.

In 2006, he was recruited to the University Medical Center Groningen to join the Groningen Research Institute on Asthma and COPD (GRIAC) in a tenure track position. Here, he developed his independent research line in functional genetics of asthma, working with clinicians (dr. van den Berge, prof. Koppelman, prof. Timens), pharmacologists (prof. Gosens), cell biologists (prof. Heijink) and bioinformaticians (dr. Guryev) in a multidisciplinary team able to study all aspects of these complex diseases, including clinic and pathology, genetics, biology and develop novel strategies aimed to at prevention or intervention in the disease process. 

In 2013, Martijn Nawijn obtained tenure as an assistant professor, and was promoted in 2016 to associate professor at the department of Pathology and Medical Biology at the UMCG. To date, he is named author on >150 peer reviewed publications and holds one patent. To support his research program, he acquired over 10 million euro in research grants. He has supervised 12 PhD students who successfully defended their thesis at the University of Groningen, and currently supervises 10 PhD students performing their thesis research. Martijn Nawijn is coordinator of the Lung Bionetwork for the international HCA consortium. He was coordinator of the discovAIR H2020 consortium for the Human Lung Cell Atlas supported by the European Commission, and obtained several consortia grants to further support the Human Lung Cell Atlas, which was published in Nature Medicine in 2023 (PMID: 37291214). Martijn Nawijn was appointed professor within the Talent Track of the UMCG in 2020, holding the chair of functional genetics of respiratory disease.

In addition to his research, Martijn Nawijn has taken on several educational and management tasks at the University of Groningen. He teaches several Immunology course modules in the BSc and MSc curricula in Life Sciences and Medicine at the University of Groningen. In addition, Martijn Nawijn was academic coordinator of the International Masters of Innovative Medicine, an Erasmus+ double degree program at the universities of Heidelberg, Uppsala and Groningen. As chair of the young investigators committee of the Dutch Society of Immunology (NVvI) he organizes a yearly, educational symposium for early-stage researchers in Immunology. Management tasks also included coordination of the EIT Health campus activities, leading the UMCG Grant Support Hub, and more recently membership of the UMCG committee advising the Dean on applications for tenure at the University Medical Center Groningen.

Last modified:01 February 2024 12.29 p.m.