On Thursday, November 24, Arjan van Laarhoven received the Robert Sauerwein Medal. The medal is awarded every two years to a young researcher affiliated with a Dutch university or umc who has made a major contribution with research on tropical infectious diseases. The prize was awarded for the second time and consists of a bronze medal and a cash prize of €500.
Van Laarhoven does laboratory research looking at the relationship between innate immunological responses of the body and the transmission of tuberculosis. He is also investigating how the disease develops. He has identified genotypic markers in tuberculosis bacteria that are related to tuberculosis transmission. He has also shown that cerebral tryptophan metabolism is an important marker of the risk of mortality from meningitis due to tuberculosis. Van Laarhoven defended his thesis "Host response in relation to tuberculosis susceptibility, transmission and outcome" (cum laude) in May 2018 and also completed his training as an internist-infectiologist in addition to doctoral research.
During his research, he has collaborated with researchers from many different countries and backgrounds. He also worked in Bandung, Indonesia, for an extended period of time for his research. There he set up methods in the laboratory to conduct detailed research on the white blood cells in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with meningitis caused by tuberculosis. In addition to his innovative and relevant research, the selection panel for the Robert Sauerwein Medal especially praised him for how he trains and involves local researchers in his research.
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