Awards for FHML scientists

Two talented young researchers from the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) at Maastricht University have won awards. Kim Kampen, assistant professor in the Department of Radiotherapy, received the KNAW Early Career Award for her study of the differences in ‘eating patterns’ between normal body cells and cancer cells. Floor van den Brand has won the Catharina Pijls Dissertation Prize for her ‘excellent research in the field of health sciences’.

KNAW Early Career Award

Kim Kampen studies the differences in ‘eating patterns’ between normal cells and cancer cells. She then applies the knowledge in the search for drugs that specifically limit the amount that cancer cells ‘eat’ so they grows more slowly and are less resistant to therapy. The cancer can thus be inhibited more efficiently and specifically, and damage to normal cells is reduced.

The KNAW Early Career Award, comprising 15,000 euros and a work of art, is intended for researchers in the Netherlands who are at the start of their careers and have original and innovative research ideas. The award ceremony will take place on 14 February 2022 in Amsterdam, at the Trippenhuis Building, home of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Catharina Pijls Dissertation Prize

Floor van den Brand obtained her doctorate cum laude from Maastricht University in October 2020 for research into the effect of financial rewards on smoking cessation. All nine studies in the dissertation have been published in leading scientific journals, including a publication in The Lancet Public Health. Van den Brand’s smoking cessation intervention is already cited in the Netherlands National Prevention Agreement as ‘an effective intervention that can contribute to making organisations smoke-free, offering effective quit-smoking support, and reducing the number of smokers in Dutch society’.

Candidates for the Catharina Pijls Dissertation Prize are nominated by professors from all Dutch faculties of Medicine and Social Sciences. The nominations are assessed on their multidisciplinary character, scientific quality, scientific innovation and social relevance, plus the candidate’s achievements beyond the dissertation. The 10,000-euro prize is awarded biennially.

Incentive Prize

Alongside the Dissertation Prize, the Catharina Pijls Foundation awards an annual Incentive Prize worth 2,000 euros to a recently graduated student of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences. This year’s prize winner is Ilja van Bergen (alumna of the Master’s in Healthcare Policy, Innovation and Management) for her thesis entitled Identifying the beliefs regarding COVID-19 vaccinations of young adults in the United Kingdom.