Erasmus MC Fellowship
Erasmus MC, Department of Clinical Genetics
The role of abnormalities in regulatory DNA elements in neurodevelopmental disorders
While neurodevelopmental disorders are common, they are not really understood. In addition to genes, human DNA contains many other regulatory elements. Their role in disease processes has hardly been studied however. Dr Stefan Barakat is researching whether abnormalities in these regulatory elements play a role in the disease process. He is using a new method to identify and test these elements. The method involves the use of ‘mini brains’ made from patients’ stem cells. Dr Barakat hopes to gain new insights into the occurrence of abnormalities in early brain development.
Dr M. P. H. (Wendy) Koster
Erasmus MC, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Pregnancy and cardiovascular health
Pregnancy puts stress on a woman’s cardiovascular system and is viewed as an early indicator of cardiovascular health. Dr Wendy Koster is researching to which extent cardiovascular adaptation during pregnancy plays a role in the development of pregnancy complications. To this end, an inventory will be made of women’s cardiovascular health both before and during pregnancy. Insight of this kind not only contributes to the detection and prevention of these pregnancy complications, but also of associated cardiovascular conditions later in life.
Dr R. K. M. (Rebekka) Schneider
Erasmus MC, Department of Hematology
Identifying novel treatments for an incurable type of blood cancer
Primary myelofibrosis is an incurable type of blood cancer. Over time, it leads to the formation of excessive scar tissue in the bone marrow, which impairs its ability to produce normal blood cells. Dr Rebekka Schneider, who has also been granted an ERC Starting Grant, identified a cell population in the bone marrow that is responsible for the formation of scars. She is now in a unique position to understand the underlying mechanisms of scar formation and aims to find novel treatments for this type of blood cancer.
Dr L. (Laura) Zwaan
Erasmus MC, Institute of Medical Education Research Rotterdam
Unravelling diagnostic reasoning: thinking fast or slowly, that’s the question!
Diagnostic errors in medicine are generally cognitive in nature. A commonly-proposed solution is to promote a slowing down of the reasoning process and to have physicians reconsider their diagnosis. Dr Laura Zwaan challenges the idea that slowing down is an effective way to prevent diagnostic error. By studying the reasoning process of cases with and without diagnostic errors, she aims to demonstrate that fast diagnostic reasoning is a crucial part of an efficient and correct diagnostic process.