The NWO Chemistry Round Table: an introduction

26 November 2019

The executive board of the NWO Domain Science (Exacte en Natuurwetenschappen, ENW) has appointed seven disciplinary consultation committees in 2018 to facilitate effective cooperation between the board, the bureau and ‘the field’. These disciplinary consultation committees, to be called ‘round tables’, are made up of researchers, and are intended to ensure that the research field is organized to provide advice to the board in the new NWO. The Chemistry Round Table invites the research field to deliver solicited and unsolicited input and to draw the Table’s attention to relevant developments in the field, so that the Table is in a position to represent the chemistry research field in a well-informed and well-supported way. The members of the Chemistry Round Table are pleased to take this opportunity to introduce themselves.

Patricia Dankers – chair

Patricia Dankers is Professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering (Faculteit Biomedische Technologie) and the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (Instituut voor Complexe Moleculaire Systemen) at the TU/e in Delft. She studied chemistry in Nijmegen, and defended her first doctoral research in supramolecular chemistry and biomaterials at the TU/e in 2006. She then worked for the company SupraPolix and the University Medical Center of Groningen. She defended her second doctoral research on kidney regeneration within the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of Groningen in 2013. In 2010 she worked at Northwestern University in Chicago. She then continued her university teaching at the TU/e, was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2014 and Professor in 2017. The mission of her research group is to educate students and carry out research into biomaterials, supramolecular chemistry and regenerative medicine, making use of biochemical techniques.

Contact person for: Soft Advanced Materials, NWA Regenerative Medicine, KNAW and the Young Academy, NWO’s Earth Sciences Round Table

Rolf van Benthem

Rolf van Benthem obtained his Master’s degree in organic chemistry at Leiden University (1991) and his PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Amsterdam (1995). Since 1995 he has worked for DSM, most recently as Corporate Science Fellow for Macromolecular Sciences. He has also held a part-time post as Professor of Coatings Technology at the Technical University of Eindhoven since 2002. In 2005 he founded and co-organized the annual COSI conference, and he has chaired the Programme Council for the Chemistry of Advanced Materials at TKI Chemistry since 2015.

Contact person for: the Materials theme, materials in NWA, AgriFood Top Sector

Matthias Bickelhaupt

Matthias Bickelhaupt has a chair in Theoretical Chemistry at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Radboud University Nijmegen. He was awarded his PhD in mass spectrometry and theoretical chemistry by Nibbering and Baerends at the University of Amsterdam (1993). He then worked with Schleyer, Ziegler and Hoffmann, became a university lecturer in Marburg, and was appointed in Amsterdam in 1999. Matthias Bickelhaupt has published on developments in the analysis and theory of chemical binding and reactivity, with applications in organic, inorganic and biological chemistry. He is a member of the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) and a VICI laureate (2002).

Contact person for: Energy, Industry, NWO’s Mathematics Round Table

Dave Blank

Dave Blank is Chief Scientific Ambassador, Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Inorganic Materials Science at the University of Twente. From 2007 to 2016 he was Scientific Director of the MESA+ Institute of Nanotechnology.
In 2003 he became a VICI laureate for innovative research, and in 2010 he was given royal decoration, being made a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. He has also been awarded both the STW Simon Stevin Meester prize and the FOM valorization award.
He is a member of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg, Sweden; the Academy for Technology and Innovation (AcTI); the Top Team Top Sector High-Tech Systems and Materials; and the Advisory Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (Wetenschap, Technologie en Innovatie, AWT). He is also a leading figure within the quantum/nano route of the Dutch National Research Agenda (Nationale Wetenschapsagenda).

Contact person for: NWO institutes, HTSM Top Sector, quantum/nano (including NWA), NWO’s Astronomy Round Table

Bernard Dam

Bernard Dam obtained his PhD in Nijmegen in 1986 with a dissertation on incommensurately modulated crystals. After having worked for Philips Research Labs on high-Tc superconductors and as a Senior Lecturer at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, he is now head of the MECS (Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage) group at TU Delft, specializing in electrochemical conversion processes and devices. His personal research focuses on the relationship between thin film growth and the (defective) structures and physical characteristics of materials, most recently with regard to oxyhydrides. He is currently also Scientific Director of the ADEM (Advanced Dutch Energy Materials) programme..

Contact person for: NWO’s TTW division, Materials for Energy, Energy Top Sector, Energy Transition (NWA), Electrochemical Conversion & Materials

Heleen Goorissen

Goorissen has been working at Corbion since 2010 in various positions in the field of biotechnology and fermentation. Since 2018 she is vice president R & D worldwide. Prior to her time at Corbion, Goorissen worked at NIZO food research and at Wageningen University. Goorissen obtained her PhD at the University of Groningen in the Lubbert Dijkhuizen group on biotechnological desulphurisation of waste gases.
Goorissen has been appointed to the Chemistry Round Table for a period of three years.


Syuzanna Harutyunyan

Syuzanna received her Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Yerevan State University of Armenia. In 1999 she moved to Moscow, Russia to complete her PhD under the supervision of Professor Belokon. After a few months in 2002 working as a visiting scientist together with Professor Grela in Warsaw, Poland, she joined the research group of Professor Feringa at the University of Groningen in 2003 as a post-doctoral Research Fellow. In 2007 Syuzanna moved to the Department of Process & Development of Janssen Pharmaceutica, Belgium. Syuzanna began her independent research career in 2010 when she was appointed as a tenure-track university lecturer at the University of Groningen. Since 2013 she has been Associate Professor at the University of Groningen. Syuzanna’s research concerns organic synthesis, organometal reactions, catalysis, enantioselective transformations and autocatalysis. Her research results have established her status as one of the most important researchers working in copper chemistry. Syuzanna is a VIDI and a VICI laureate, and was the recipient of an ERC Consolidator grant. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Solvias Ligand Contest in 2011, the 2016 KNCV Golden Medal from the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society, and the 2017 Homogeneous Catalysis Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Contact person for: NextGenChem, Value from Biomass, Water

Joyce Lebbink

Joyce Lebbink studied at, and obtained her PhD from Wageningen University, and was a post-doctoral researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Netherlands Cancer Institute. She is currently Senior Lecturer in the Departments of Molecular Genetics and Radiotherapy at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. Research in her laboratory is directed towards unravelling the molecular mechanisms of DNA repair processes, especially the question of how the different proteins communicate with one another during this process. Joyce was guest editor of the journal DNA Repair and Scientific Coordinator of the EU project mismatch2model. She is currently coordinating the EU Marie Curie training network DNARepairMan.

Contact person for: the NWO’s SGW division, the Health theme,NWO’s Life Sciences Round Table

Hermen Overkleeft

Hermen Overkleeft studied chemistry at the University of Amsterdam and did his doctoral research under Professor Upendra Pandit. After gaining his PhD in 1997 he did post-doctoral research at the University of Leiden (Bio-organic Synthesis, Professor Jacques van Boom, Dr Gijs van der Marel, 1997–1999) and at the Harvard Medical School (Department of Pathology, Professor Hidde Ploegh, 1999–2001). Since 2001 he has been Professor of Bio-Organic Chemistry at the University of Leiden, and since 2017 he has been Scientific Director of the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC).

Contact person for: Future Medicines Initiative, Evidence-Based Sensing, LSH Top Sector, Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)

Dirk Slotboom

Dirk Slotboom trained as a chemist and gained his PhD in microbiology. Professor Slotboom’s group at the University of Groningen now combines biophysical (X-ray crystallography, spectroscopy), biochemical (membrane enzymology) and microbiological methods to study the transport mechanisms of dissolved substances through membranes. He has made important contributions to clarifying the mechanism of secondary active (ion / coupled) glutamate / aspartate transporters, and is a pioneer and leading researcher in the study of a new and widespread class of ATP-binding cassette transporters. His group focuses on families of proteins that show unique, dynamic behaviour in double-layered lipids, gaining generic insights into the physical chemistry of membranes. In collaboration with organic chemists the group is also developing small molecules that inhibit the transport activity of bacterial transporters, with the aim of identifying new bactericides or bacteriostatic compounds.
Dirk has published 98 articles in peer-reviewed journals (PubMed) that have been cited more than 5,000 times (Google Scholar). His h-index is 43 (Google Scholar). He is a recipient of the ERC Starting Grant and is a NWO VICI laureate. He is also on the editorial advisory board of The Journal of General Physiology.

Contact person for: Building Blocks of Life, Physics and Chemistry Council (Raad voor de Natuur- en Scheikunde), NWO’s Physics Round Table, CHAINS

Andrzej Stankiewicz

Andrzej Stankiewicz is Professor of Process Intensification and director of the TU Delft Process Technology Institute (DPTI). Stankiewicz is the author of numerous publications, including the first-ever book on process intensification. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification and Series Editor of the RSC Green Chemistry Book Series. Stankiewicz is the founder and original chair of the Working Group on Process Intensification at the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE), and also chairs the board of the European Process Intensification Centre (EUROPIC). Stankiewicz was a member of the Dijkgraaf Committee, and co-authored the Vision Statement on chemistry and physics in the Netherlands. He is a member of the NWO’s Permanent Committee for Large-Scale Scientific Infrastructure.

Contact person for: Royal Netherlands Chemical Society (KNCV), Chemistry Top Sector, Internationalization/Horizon2020, NWO’s Computer Science Round Table

Contact details, ENW Chemistry Round Table secretaries:
Mark Schmets, t. +31 (0) 70 344 05 37, cell. +31 (0) 6 30 36 92 39 |
Marcel Hoek, t. +31 30 600 13 82, cell +31 6 25 43 81 53 |

Source: NWO