Ronald van Rij, theme Infectious diseases and global health, has been appointed Professor of Experimental Virology at Radboud University / Radboud university medical center with effect from 1 July 2019.Ronald van Rij has been working at Radboudumc since 2008, where he conducts research into viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, such as the Dengue and Zika viruses. His research group mainly studies the molecular interplay between virus, human host and mosquito.
Ronald van Rij (1972, Hellevoetsluis) received his Master’s in Bioprocess Technology at Wageningen University in 1996 and from 1997-2002 worked as a researcher at Sanquin Research (previously the Central Laboratory of the Netherlands Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service) in Amsterdam. In 2002 he obtained his PhD (cum laude) at the University of Amsterdam on research into Chemokine receptors in HIV-1 infection and AIDS pathogenesis.
He then worked for four years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California San Francisco (USA). Back in the Netherlands, he became a researcher at the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research. In 2008 Van Rij came to Radboud university medical center and the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS), where he set up a new research group with the help of a Hypatia Tenure Track Grant, a Radboudumc programme in which excellent researchers develop to become leaders within their academic fields.
Since 2012, he has been head of the Experimental Virology Laboratory of the Medical Microbiology Department. In 2018 he was a visiting professor at the University of Pavia (Italy). In addition to his research, Van Rij provides virology, innate immunity and RNA biology education in various BSc and MSc programmes.
Van Rij received a large number of grants and scholarships for his work, including an ERC Consolidator Grant (2013) and a grant from the Human Frontiers Science Program (2017) for research into the antiviral immune system of mosquitoes that contain the Dengue and Zika viruses transfer. The antiviral immune system of the mosquito is a critical determining factor for the transmission of viruses. His VICI Grant (2017) is intended for research into the role of small RNAs in gene regulation and mosquito antiviral defences.