Could you tell us something about your work at the department?
Long long time ago…….. as a PhD student the basis was shaped and I became more and more excited to study molecular mechanisms of renal diseases. In my last year as PhD student I cloned the long sought renal calcium channel, named TRPV5, which opened the way to study mineral transport in the kidney. As a young post.doc I spent 2 years in the lab of Bernard Rossier (Lausanne, Switzerland) to learn about innovative approaches to create transgenic mice models. Besides the work I was in the weekends often with experienced Swiss colleagues on the Ski slopes nearby Lausanne, I like everything that goes fast…. On a Vidi-NWO grant I came back to our department to continue my research and build over the years a group working on the molecular causes of electrolyte disturbances. During that process I became also enthusiastic about education and enjoy to teach (bio)medical students new concepts of kidney physiology and scientific thinking. I was recently endowed the Radboud university teaching prize for senior teacher which was a great honor. My current work is a fusion between research and teaching and I enjoy every day that combination of activities.
Could you describe yourself in a few words:
Enthusiastic, energetic, optimistic, motivated, team player and…. sometimes impatient
What do you normally do in the weekends?
The weekends are often filled with activities. As a child it was already difficult for me to sit 5 minutes at the same place, I was always on the move. I wake up early, also in the weekend. In the morning I work a bit, but in the afternoons/evenings I like to go outside, play some soccer with the kids from the neighbors, meet our friends and have long dinners with them (in and out) and enjoy and try all kind of delicious wine. Nowadays, I also spend some time on my hobby in the weekend.
What are your hobbies and can you tell us something about your favorite one?
Most part of my life I never had a hobby. I like my work and in most cases if people asked me about hobbies than ‘my work’ was the answer. In addition, I always had a passion for speed. As a young kid I liked BMX bike cross, and at an age of 16 I could make the longest wheelies of Gelderland. So it were perhaps these early days that I decided to obtain my motor bike driver license more recently. Some people say, call it a midlife crisis Joost? Perhaps true, I should started actually much earlier. It is very relaxing for me to get up early in the morning to drive along the rivers in the neighborhood. Sometimes by myself, sometimes with Judith and some other good friends. Over the last 7 years I biked more than 100.000 km all over the world including Japan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, India/Himalaya, North and South America, Africa and Europe. For the first time in my life I feel I have a hobby. My garage is full with Ducati and I consider myself as a real Ducatist.
Could you describe your best holiday?
One of the best holidays was a motor bike tour in Peru. My favorite one is an adventurous trip. Together with 2 friends, Judith and I travelled through Peru on motor bike. This was really amazing since you will experience various climates from mountain area to jungle zone, sometimes on the same riding day. On 4 motor bikes we started in Lima and toured around 300 km a day for 14 days -on dirty off roads- cross Peru to enjoy beautiful sceneries. One of the attractive experiences about motor biking is that you will come very close to the locals in little villages, areas that are often not seen by other tourists. Sometimes you will uncover a small village in the middle of the jungle or high in the mountain where only less than a few hundreds people are living. You feel very welcome, people would like to show their way of living and are proud about their own culture. A best holiday is not only adventurous but also contains relaxation. To my opinion, the best combination is to have dirty -read mud- roads during the day and at the end of the day a shower and a special dinner. Such a dinner could be special because we were invited by local people in the village for a BBQ and talk with them using hands and feet or having an amazing gastronomic trip in one of the best restaurants of the world in Lima. Once you ever have the opportunity, try CENTRAL or Maido in Lima, really an unbelievable experience but make sure you have a reservation in advance.
What is your dream for the future?
Perhaps boring but I do not have very specific dreams. Stay happy and healthy. However, in one of my last dreams I cloned a protein in kidney that only consists of glutamates. It was so weird that Nature and Science called at the same day whether we were interested to publish our bizarre protein. However, this will realistically not happen but perhaps I can learn from it that my dream is more about something unexpected or to do experiments again?
Please add a picture of yourself during a certain activity and add here a note explaining the photo:
This picture is taken at Vulcan Ampato (6,288 meter in height) in the Andes of Southern Peru. During a long off-road trail we crossed the north-south chain that includes several volcanoes including Hualca Hualca and Sabancaya.