21 June 2022

On Friday 3 June, Prof. René Bindels (head of department of physiology, theme renal disorders) delivered his valedictory lecture entitled “Happiness is in the small things". In a full Aula, with a lot of interest from fellow professors, colleagues, family and friends, he outlined his scientific journey of the past 40 years that led to the groundbreaking discovery of the transient receptor potential ion channel TRPV5 that plays an essential role in maintaining the calcium balance in our body. The importance of the "forgotten" mineral magnesium was also illustrated by several rare hereditary forms of renal magnesium loss.

His 40+ years of teaching experience were evident from this lecture. He even did an interactive experiment with the audience, where everyone stimulated various ion channels by eating a wasabi-flavored nut and a mint. The ‘red pill’, a hot chili flavored sweet, was to be tried at home with a glass of milk to possibly compensate for the hot sensation.

Prof. Bindels ended his lecture with three tips to unburden the work life of our scientists: take care of our scientists, let's publish less albeit with more impact, and re-design the funding of science.

With this advice, René Bindels is ending his productive career as a professor in physiology. Until the end of this year, René Bindels will continue his RIMLS directorship on a part-time basis and contribute to the project of rehousing laboratories.

The whole lecture can be watched at https://youtu.be/8zNOsLDnkxI

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