News items Radboudumc guides Indonesian PhD candidates in fight against tuberculosis 

8 October 2023

For 25 years, Radboud unniversity medical center has collaborated with universities in Indonesia. The Department of Internal Medicine does this in the field of tuberculosis, HIV and other infectious diseases, such as dengue and chikungunya. This collaboration has already produced more than 25 PhD candidates at Radboudumc, most of them from Indonesia. Last September 18, Raspati Koesoemadinata and Bony Lestari received their PhDs.

Most of the emphasis of the joint research is on tuberculosis. Indonesia has the second most tuberculosis patients worldwide after India, more than 900,000 per year. Collaborative research includes basic research (discovery science) on mechanisms behind inflammation and mortality, clinical trials and drug trials, and public health research.


Recently, two Indonesian PhD candidates received their degrees here in Nijmegen: Raspati Koesoemadinata (Alit) for research into the combination of diabetes and tuberculosis, and Bony Lestari, for 'public health tools' to better combat tuberculosis in Indonesia. With Reinout van Crevel (professor of Global Health and Infectious Diseases) and Bachti Alisjahbana of Universitas Padjadjaran, themselves the first PhD candidates within this collaboration, as supervisor and co-supervisor. Besides the dean from Bandung, a large number of current and former postdocs and PhD candidates within this collaboration were present to celebrate.

Reinout van Crevel: "We are enormously proud of this collaboration. And today especially of both candidates. They first became acquainted with scientific research themselves as physician-researchers (field physician) in our studies, and now they have both delivered fantastic dissertations. Both are also continuing large-scale and very relevant follow-up research within our group. Alit into a number of new diagnostic methods with which we hope to detect tuberculosis patients much earlier, and Bony into the implementation of a revolutionary new method to demonstrate antibiotic resistance. We're doing that throughout West Java, which has a population of nearly 50 million people." 

Future leaders

Many PhD candidates do relevant and inspiring work in an international context that prepares them for their future careers. For example, Arjan van Laarhoven, infectiologist and postdoc within this collaboration in the field of tuberculosis, has also now secured two grants as principal investigator himself and supervises several PhD candidates. This work also strengthens our role as a national reference center for tuberculosis and other mycobacterial infections.

International collaborations

As an academic healthcare institution, Radboudumc focuses on promoting cooperation and strengthening networks within the Netherlands and abroad. This leads to an international working and learning environment in the field of healthcare, education and research. Within this cooperation in the field of infectious diseases - a focus field within the Radboud - exchange take place between healthcare providers, teachers, researchers and candidates from Nijmegen and from countries such as Tanzania, Suriname and Indonesia.

More information

Margie Alders



Related news items