20 September 2018

Jeroen van der Laak, Geert Litjens and Thijs Eijsvogels have been awarded the Radboud Science Award 2018. The awardees receive the award for the quality of their scientific research. In the coming year, the winners will be given the opportunity to translate their research into teaching materials for primary education.

The other 2018 winner is neuroscientist Hanneke den Ouden.
The Radboud Science Awards are awarded annually to Radboud scientists who have made the best and most interesting proposal to translate their research into primary school activities.
Jeroen van der Laak and Geert Litjens: Smart computers helping doctors
How could artificial intelligence help diagnose illnesses? Jeroen van der Laak and Geert Litjens, researchers at the Department of Pathology of Radboud university medical center, are carrying out research into the subject. By providing computers with examples of what a tumour can look like under a microscope, they taught these computers to recognise tumours under a microscope as well. They discovered that the computer is just as efficient at recognising a tumour as a pathologist. Will pathologists become obsolete? Highly unlikely. However, thanks to this research, they will be able to use a computer programme to diagnose in shorter time and thus better help patients get well again.
Thijs Eijsvogels: Sports are good for you, or are they?
Everyone knows that being more active is better for your health, but is that truly the case? Thijs Eijsvogels, exercise physiology researcher, carries out research into the effects of sports on health and the blood vessels around the heart. Contrarily to what was expected, the most active athletes suffer from coronary artery calcification more often than those who are less active. However, the type of coronary artery calcification is more favourable than the type in less active athletes, which could cause the eventual risk for a heart attack to be the same or even lower.
Laureates will bring their research into classrooms
During the coming year, the laureates will develop teaching materials for primary schools together with the Science Education Hub Radboud University (WKRU) and teachers. Pupils will be taught about the research by the laureates and will get to carry out their own research within the same theme. The pupils will be guided by their own questions and curiosity.
During the award ceremony of the Radboud Science Award on 2 October, the winners will proudly present their research and be questioned by pupils from three primary school classes. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Jeroen van der Laak is member of theme Women's cancers
Geert Litjens is member of theme Urological cancers
Thijs Eijsvogels is member of theme Vascular damage

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