AMS Activities

Successful Annual (Online) Conference Research Master Human Movement Sciences!
The meeting was held online for the first time. More than 60 researchers attended it. Students gave lively presentations on a variety of topics. Dr. 
Richard Jaspers, VU, spoke about physico-chemical cues at different biological scales (i.e. at cell organ and whole body level) which contribute to adaptation of muscle size and endurance, and how insight in these adaptive mechanisms may translate into strategies to improve physical performance in (top)sport and disease. Professor dr. Heleen A. Slagter (VU) gave a lecture about whether it is possible to increase the ability to pay attention, and the underlying brain circuitry. She discussed different methods that have been used to try to optimize attention, including electrical brain stimulation and meditation. Research Master alumnus
Dr. Maarten Prins described how his career as human movement scientist developed and gave the current students some considerations to increase their chance of success as future academics.The meeting ended with social encounters and was chaired by dr. Huub Maas and dr. Nadia Dominici.


Annemieke Heijboer Appointed Professor
As per September 1, 2020, dr. A.C. Heijboer, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc) has been appointed professor of Endocrinological Laboratory Medicine. The chair is embedded within the department of Clinical Chemistry, Endocrinological Laboratory, division 9  of Amsterdam UMC. 

ZonMw grants for Helga Haberfehlner and Niels Waterval
Helga Haberfehlner (Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc) and Niels Waterval (Amsterdam UMC, location AMC) have received an IMDI (Innovative Medical Device Initative) grant from ZonMw ( of €120.000 each, for a period of 1.5 years. They are both AMS researchers. Helga’s project is entitled Home-based measurements of dyskinesia using smartphone coupled inertial sensor technology and machine learning (MODYS@home)The aim of this project is develop an application for the automatic assessment of movement disorders in children, that allows measurements over a longer period of time at home. Read more


Niels Waterval received the grant for his proposal Precision simulations to predict the individual optimal ankle foot orthosis. He will study whether the predictive, forward simulations can predict the individual, optimal orthosis settings. If he succeeds it will greatly impact orthotic-care and improve patient-outcomes. The project is a cooperation between the Amsterdam UMC (Marjolein van der Krogt, Merel Brehm, Frans Nollet), TU Delft (Jaap Harlaar, Thomas Geijtenbeek) and OIM orthopedie (

Grant EFSD for Rob Wust
Rob Wust (VU) received €100,000 from the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes (EFSD) as part of the EFSD / Boehringer Ingelheim European Research Program on Multi-System Challenges in Diabetes 2020. The project will address the question if an altered glucose signaling in skeletal muscle contributes to exercise intolerance in patients with type I diabetes mellitus. Richie Goulding will be appointed as a postdoc on this project.
ZonMw Grant for Research Project 'Safe and effective home training for people with cancer'
Edwin Geleijn and Marike van der Leeden, (Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc) have received a grant of  €15.000 from ZonMw. The research concentrates on medical treatment for cancer patients who are unable to visit a physiotherapist because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Marijke Leeuwerk (Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc), a PhD researcher working on the project says ‘The goal of this project is that physiotherapists can safely guide patients remotely using an e-health application.  We use an app in which the physical activity of a patient is mapped using an accelerometer, so that the patients can monitor themselves, which is very motivating... Read more.
Grant Johanna Kinderfonds for Research in Children with Cerebral Palsy
Johanna Kinderfonds awarded a grant of € 40.000 for a study to determine the effect of wearing orthoses on (the complexity of) motor control of walking in children with CP, before the development of their gait pattern. If shown that motor control of walking in young children with CP can be changed, it might not only improve their daily functioning, but it allows for optimization of complexity motor control before future interventions. This could reduce medical costs by shortening rehabilitation time and the need for walking aids. Applicants of the grant are: Marije Goudriaan (VU, FGB), Nadia Dominici (VU, FGB), Andreas Daffertshofer (VU, FGB) Annemieke Buizer (CP Centre of Expertise, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc), Marjolein van der Krogt (CP Centre of Expertise, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc).

Scientific Meetings

Save the Date: Online Symposium Research COVID-19

What are the lessons learned and what has been accomplished over the past period? How do Research Institutes cooperate in this matter? The symposium will be organized by Amsterdam UMC and will be open for all research partners. More information will follow. December 3, 2020.

Online ScienceTransmission Meeting # 28: Corona Update
The topic of this meeting is: 'A CORONA follow-up'. How have you managed to navigate the continued working from home/limited time at VU? Are you feeling refreshed after a summer break or did you never take one as "what was the point"? Lots of research was on hold before the summer. Now you can start up again - but is it even feasible and are you allowed? How do we tackle the coming challenges? Date: September 7, 2020, 12 - 13.00 hrs. Zoom Meeting ID: 478 803 2645. Password: 864922.

Valedictory Symposium and Lecture Hanneke de Vries

Professor Hanneke de Vries, gynaecologist at Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, will retire this autumn. At this occasion an interesting symposium will be organized. About patient care, research and advanced training in obstetrics and gynaecology on the Move. The language is Dutch. October 2, 2020, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc.  Program. Register by email

Symposium Laboratory Evaluation & Unmet Clinical Needs of Bone Health
Evaluation of bone health within blood is a challenge. Vitamin D, PTH and bone turnover markers like P1NP and CTx are the most frequently used biomarkers. However, do all these biomarkers have true clinical value in the diagnosis and follow up of patients with bone (related) diseases? What are the analytical possibilities? Moreover, what unmet clinical needs exist in the field of biomarkers for bone health? And will we be able to fulfill these needs in the future in the laboratory? These questions will be answered by national and international experts in the field during the symposium preceding the PhD defenses of Mariska Vlot and Niek Dirks at the VU. Read the full program. Please register before September 1, 2020.

PhD Activities

The AMS PhD committee is Looking for New Members!

The PhD committee represents the interest of PhD candidates within Amsterdam Movement Sciences (AMS) research institute. The tasks of the committee involve organising activities such as the annual PhD day, representing your fellow PhDs in the AMS management team and/or representing your PhDs in the various program boards and being a first contact for PhDs who need support or have ideas for new initiatives.The committee consists of a diverse group of PhDs from different departments and backgrounds, all affiliated with either Amsterdam UMC (location VUmc and AMC) and/or VU. As a member of the PhD committee you can contribute to the improvement of AMS on behalf of fellow PhDs, it offers great networking opportunities and is, above all, great fun! Are you interested in joining the PhD committee and/or do you want more information? Please feel free to contact us before September 19, 2020.

Workshop 'Switching from Academia to Industry'

How to approach the right companies and how to find appropriate vacancies in your field of expertise? In this workshop, organised for VU PhD Graduates, Lisette Spoelder from 'People in Science' will discuss how to speak ‘the language of companies’. You will work on how to pique the recruiter’s interest by explaining your skills and expertise Zoom meeting. September 7, 2020, 13:30 to 16:30 hrs. Information and registration. Limited spots available.
Upcoming workshop: Job applications
The last workshop in October will involve all skills required for job application. Send an
email for more information.
 For any questions, contact Forum Young Scientists. 

How to find funding opportunities?
To help researchers find appropriate funding opportunities VU has a subscription to Research Professional (RP), an online interactive database that covers a wide array of funding opportunities. To help researchers find and identify the right funding opportunities for them, several tailored funding searches have been created for the different VU faculties of the VU. This guide  explains how to access Research Professional, how to use the searches, how to review opportunities and how to save opportunities that are of interest for VU researchers.

Training Data Management
In this online training for VUmc researchers, you will learn how to write a good Data Management Plan (DMP), with issues such as which laws and codes of conduct your research should comply with, where to store and archive your data and how to make them FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). Many funding agencies nowadays require a Research DMP. In addition, all researchers at VUmc/Amsterdam UMC have to write a DMP, irrespective of where they get their funding from. Please note that some preparations are required prior to the workshop, including writing a first draft of your DMP. You will receive more information shortly after the registrations have closed. The training is worth 1 EC if you complete all compulsory components. 
You can sign up by email adding your (VUmc/Amsterdam UMC) contact details and that you would like to participate. More information

New Members

Jonas Jäger
After finishing school, I started studying Biological Sciences at the University of Konstanz, a beautiful city in the very south of Germany right next to the Swiss border. Here, I experienced working with human cells for the first time during my Bachelor Thesis. Being interested in toxicology, drug testing and biomedical science, I focused on Disease Biology in my Masters. During these studies, I realized that both human cell culture as animal models are not really suitable as a platform to predict toxicity for humans. Striving to find better models for substance testing, I conducted my Master Thesis at TissUse in Berlin, a biotech company that produces and develops assays with multi-organ-chips. At VUmc within the department of molecular cell biology and immunology (MCBI), I continue working on multi-organ-chips. My PhD project is called NextSkin and comprises constructing a skin equivalent, mimicking human physiology and metabolism as close as possible. Different primary human cell types are co-cultivated in a 3D model to create a full thickness skin equivalent with growing hair, barrier and immune properties within a multi-organ-chip. After being validated for compound testing, this model can replace animal experiments and will contribute to new standard methods for safety assessment and drug testing. It is a NWO funded project in collaboration with Unilever, TissUse and TU Berlin and my supervisor is prof. dr. Sue Gibbs.
Willem Heijboer
My name is Willem Heijboer. I’m a physiotherapist and clinical epidemiologist. I am currently working for Aspetar’s Sports Groin Pain Centre in Doha (Qatar), where I live with my wife and our 1-year old daughter. My PhD-project focuses on the diagnosis of longstanding groin pain in athletes, and is supervised by Prof. J.L. Tol (Amsterdam UMC, location AMC), Dr. A. Weir and Dr. A. Serner. The project includes studies on the adoption and reliability of a clinical classification system (Doha agreement classification), and the reliability of clinical examination tests for the diagnosis of longstanding groin pain.

Upcoming PhD Dissertations

  • 7/9/2020: Mariska Vlot, (Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc): Bones in balance, use of bone turnover markers in clinical practice | Aula | Main Building |  VU Campus | 13:45;
  • 14/9/2020: Arjen Smits (Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc): Traumatic spinal Fractures, the Fall and Rise | Aula | Main Building | VU Campus | 11:45;
  • 17/9/2020: Jasper Schoormans (Amsterdam UMC, location AMC): Innovations in Sparse MRI | Agnietenkapel | UvA | 16:00; 
  • 23/9/2020: Maria Beerekamp (Amsterdam UMC, location AMC): Peri-operative Imaging in Extremity Fractures | Agnietenkapel, UvA | 10:00; 
  • 25/9/2020: Saskia Baltrusch (FGB): Lifting Success of Trunk Exoskeletons. Bridging the gap between biomechanical solutions and end-users’ perceptions | Aula | Main Building | VU Campus | 11:45;
  • 7/10/2020: Tim van Kernebeek (FGB): GYMMERMANSOOG, Quantification of Gross Motor Skills within the Physical Education Setting | Aula | Main Building | VU Campus | 11:45;
  • 9/10/2020: Marieke de Roo (Amsterdam UMC, location AMC): Four-Dimensional Imaging of Scaphoid Kinematics | Agnietenkapel | UvA | 13:00;
  • 20/10/2020: Dafydd Visscher (Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc) Cartilage Tissue Engineering For Facial Reconstructive Surgery | Aula Main Building | VU Campus | 11:45;
  • 29/10/2020: Sarah Zandvliet (Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc): Spontaneous Neurobiological Recovery and Modulation of Sensorimotor Function after Schemic Stroke  | Aula Main Building | VU Campus | 09:45;
  • 11/11/2020: Jennifer Kerkman (FGB) Muscles on the Edge. A network approach for studying motor activity | Aula | Main Building | VU Campus | 15:45;
  • 16/11/2020: Judith Vloothuis (Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc): Caregiver-mediated exercises after stroke | Aula | Main Building | VU Campus | tba.
  • Is your defense missing? Send us your details by mail

General Information

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