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19 april 2006
The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has selected four new Academy Professors this year.
They are Professor S.A.P.L. Cloetingh (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Professor P.M.G. Emmelkamp (Universiteit of Amsterdam), Professor M.W. Sabelis (Universiteit of Amsterdam), and Professor J.P. Vandenbroucke (Leiden University Medical Centre). As Academy Professors they will be able to devote themselves full-time to innovative research and the supervision of young researchers. Academy Professors are released by their universities from administrative obligations. The Academy professorship is being awarded for a period of five years. For each Academy Professor the KNAW is making EUR 1 million available for this purpose.
Professor S.A.P.L. (Sierd) Cloetingh, Professor of Tectonics, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Professor Cloetingh (1950) has been awarded an Academy Professorship for his important contributions to understanding the dynamic processes that govern the deformation of the lithosphere. His contributions have been wide-ranging, and relate to multi-scale numerical and analogue modelling of sedimentary basins, extensional and compressional intraplate tectonism, and mountains building. He is internationally recognised as leading scientist in modelling lithosphere geodynamic processes, especially with regard to sedimentary basins. Professor Cloetingh is a key player in the international Earth Science community, and has established an internationally recognized school in tectonics of sedimentary basins and continental topography.
Professor P.M.G. (Paul) Emmelkamp, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam
Professor Emmelkamp (1949) has been awarded an Academy Professorship for his influential work on evidence-based psychotherapy and controlled clinical outcome studies into the effects of cognitive therapy and behaviour therapy. His multidisciplinary work has formed a substantial contribution to the development of formal international clinical guidelines for the clinical practice of psychotherapy. In addition, his studies into the role of the partner in the aetiology, maintenance and treatment of patients with anxiety disorder have had a wide international impact on the field. Professor Emmelkamp has made pivotal contributions to his discipline and is on the forefront of research in his field.
Professor M.W. (Maurice) Sabelis, Professor of Population Biology, University of Amsterdam
Professor Sabelis (1950) has been awarded an Academy Professorship for his unique contribution to understanding the mechanisms determining persistence and extinction in communities, and the feedback between population dynamics and natural selection. He discovered plant SOS signals: herbivorous arthropods induce their host plant to release volatile chemicals which in turn are used by the natural enemies of herbivores to locate their prey. Professor Sabelis has formed an internationally recognised research group where theoretical and empirical research is carried out to investigate the role of population structure in determining the dynamics of populations: genetic structure, spatial structure, physiological structure, and food web structure. These structures represent innovative departures from the assumptions made in classic ecological theory.
Professor J.P. (Jan) Vandenbroucke, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Centre
Professor Vandenbroucke (1950) has been awarded an Academy Professorship for applying epidemiologic methods to study pathophysiologic processes of diseases. He focused on observational research methods in problems of therapy that are not amenable to the usual randomised trial solutions for diagnosis and therapy.
Outstanding among a number of major examples of innovative applications of developments of new methodology is the first large-scale genetic case-control study in venous thrombosis. In this study of hereditary risk factors of venous thrombosis the factor V Leiden as the responsible mutation in familial deficiencies in coagulation was identified. Professor Vandenbroucke is internationally regarded as an expert in the theory of medical research and the history of epidemiologic methodology.
The KNAW funds the salary and a research budget for each Academy Professor (together for each year EUR 200,000). The university in question is required to recruit at least one young talented research leader with the funds made available. In this way, the Academy Professorship Programme helps young researchers advance into supervisory positions. The Academy professorship is being awarded for a period of five years.
The Academy Professorship Programme was set up in 2002. Outstanding professors aged between 55 and 60 can be nominated by the governing bodies of their universities. The nominations are evaluated by an international committee chaired by the President of the KNAW.
More information on the four new and the sixteen formerly selected Academy Professors may be found on this website: http://www.knaw.nl/professorship/.