Ron Heeren appointed to Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has appointed Professor Ron Heeren as a member. Heeren is distinguished professor of Molecular Imaging at Maastricht University (UM) and scientific director of the Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging institute (M4I). Academy members are prominent scientists from all disciplines, chosen on the basis of their scientific and scholarly achievements. This year 23 new members have been selected. The Academy has around 550 members, who are appointed for life. The new members will be installed on Monday 13 September.

From the KNAW press release:

Ron Heeren (born 1965) is a pioneer in mass spectrometry, a technique for identifying isotopes and molecules. Thanks to techniques he has developed, it is possible rapidly and precisely to analyse and locate a wide variety of samples down to molecular level. For example, the chemicals a person has been exposed to on a given a day can be determined on the basis of a single hair, a single cancer cell can be viewed, or the pigment in an old painting can be analysed. Heeren’s work is of great importance to innovative, personalised patient care and molecular pathology. It therefore comes as no surprise that he has nine patents to his name, several of which have already been applied in commercial products.


‘Academy membership is perhaps one of the highest forms of recognition by fellow scientists from all disciplines. I am honoured that the members have elected me and I look forward to furthering the academic debate with them and contributing to the impact of science on people and society,’ Ron Heeren says in response to his appointment. ‘I am fully aware that this honour that has now been conferred on me would not have been possible without the many students, PhD students, postdocs and colleagues with whom I have had the great pleasure to work over the years. I am grateful to all of them, and I hope to be able to continue to practice this wonderful profession for a long time to come, now also as an Academy member.’


‘Ron is a highly regarded scientist within our community,’ says UM Rector Rianne Letschert. ‘He exudes a passion for education, research and impact whenever you talk to him. But as well as being passionate about his own field, he is also closely involved in a number of strategic developments at UM, such as the implementation of the Recognition and Appreciation programme, and the continuing development of our science faculty and the associated collaboration with our medical faculty. The Academy will be gaining a highly committed and enthusiastic member.’

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