Research Departments Physiology 20211031 Personal Touch Sylvan Janssen
25 October 2021

Could you tell us something about your work at the department?
I’m an MD as planned and a PhD candidate by coincidence. In 2016-2017 I did my bachelor research internship at this department. I liked the research field of physiology and was actually planning to do a physiological research internship in Innsbruck (Austria) last year. COVID messed up this plan and instead I did my research internship at the department of Physiology here in Nijmegen. After obtaining my MSc in Medicine I stayed to work as a PhD candidate.
My research focuses on the association between coronary atherosclerosis and exercise-induced cardiac troponin (a biomarker for myocardial injury) release. In my first study I let participants with and without coronary atherosclerosis perform an exercise test to study whether there was a higher troponin release in individuals with atherosclerosis.
Next year I plan to measure the troponin release during and after performing several different sports to determine reference values. One of these sports will be cycling. Therefore, we want to include amateur athletes from the Amstel Gold Race. Of course, I am really looking forward to collect data in such a large event. Besides, I grew up in South-Limburg, so this event takes place in the area I call home.

Could you describe yourself in a few words:
I am a broadly interested young doctor who sometimes finds it hard to choose and/or focus on one thing. Helping others and teaching is what gives me energy.

What do you normally do in the weekends?
I like to do some sports and meet up with friends and family. If I am in Nijmegen on a Saturday, I always love to go to the market in the city center for some groceries and a warm 'stroopwafel'.

What are your hobbies and can you tell us something about your favorite one?
I like several sports including climbing/mountaineering, swimming, running and cycling. Sometimes I combine them all when I participate in a so-called adventure race. During 21 hours I cycle, run, canoe and swim together with a few friends while navigating my own way from checkpoint to checkpoint.
Besides sports I also enjoy reading a good book and playing the piano. And especially when the weather is bad, I like to cook a nice meal while listening to some relaxing music.

Could you describe your best holiday?
My best holiday is a combination of outdoor activities, visiting sights, enjoying good food and relaxing. If I’m in a new place I love to go sightseeing and learn something about the history of the place. Because I like photography I always take (too many) pictures during holidays.
A few weeks ago I went to Andalucía in Spain with my girlfriend Sanne. We spent a few days near the coast to enjoy the sea and the beaches. We stayed a few days in the Sierra Nevada mountains and did some beautiful hikes. And we visited Granada (with it’s beautiful Alhambra!), Cordoba and Sevilla. I would find it hard to choose which was my best holiday but this one was definitely a great one! 😊

What is your dream for the future?
Staying a happy doctor with a healthy work-life balance. I would like to combine clinical work with some research and teaching.

Please add a picture of yourself during a certain activity and add here a note explaining the photo:
This picture is taken in Switzerland during a climbing holiday a few years ago. Together with a friend I climbed a long route which ended at the ‘Fiamma’ (Italian for ‘flame’). We took the flag of our climbing association, the Nijmeegse Student Alpine Club, to take some pictures to promote climbing under students. It was a great day and we were proud we made it to the top.

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