News and media Radboudumc news Sandra Heskamp appointed professor
1 March 2021

Effective 1 March 2021, Sandra Heskamp has been appointed professor of Nuclear Imaging and Therapy in Immuno-oncology at Radboud university medical center/Radboud University. She investigates the behavior of cancer cells through imaging to improve treatment for cancer patients. She is the youngest female professor in the history of Radboud university medical center.

As a biomedical researcher, Sandra Heskamp became fascinated by the complexity of tumors during her studies. In her research, she uses nuclear imaging because it offers unique opportunities to investigate the behavior of cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment in living humans and animals. She also develops new radioactively labeled molecules to specifically irradiate tumors. In her research, she uses the combination of nuclear imaging and therapy to improve treatment of cancer patients in a personalized manner.

Sandra Heskamp actively makes science accessible to the general public. She regularly explains her research to children during the 'Scientist in the Classroom' project. She has broad interests that go beyond her own field of study and thus inspires other scientists and appeals to a wide audience. She is a Principal Investigator at the Radboudumc, has won the KWF Bas Mulder Award for her research into the effective application of immunotherapy and has herself cycled up the Alpe d'Huez six times during Alpe d'Huzes to raise money for cancer research. She also received a VENI grant from the NWO.

In 2019, she received the X2 Ambition Award: This award is intended for emerging female scientists: young, ambitious women in a phase of their career where they are making important choices in their careers. This award is specifically for women who are role models both inside and outside their organizations. At 35 years, 5 months and 3 days, she is the youngest female professor appointed at Radboud university medical center.

Receptor-tyrosine kinases in cancer

Sandra Heskamp (1985, Enschede) studied at Radboud University in Nijmegen. She obtained her foundation degree in Medicine, and then switched to Biomedical Sciences. There her fascination for science started, and after finishing her study she became a PhD student at the Department of Nuclear Medicine in the Radboud university medical center. She investigated nuclear imaging of receptor tyrosine kinases: receptors that are important in cellular processes, but also play a crucial role in the development and progression of cancer (title thesis: ‘Molecular imaging of receptor tyrosine kinases in cancer’).

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