Fijs van Leeuwen
Professor Radiology, Molecular imaging and image-guided therapy
Fijs van Leeuwen is professor of radiology where he is director of the research theme ‘molecular imaging and image guided therapy’. He also co-directs the LUMC-wide image-guided surgery program. In addition to his appointments at the LUMC he is: guest-professor at the Bionantechnology group of Wageningen University, guest-scientist at the departments of head-and-neck surgery and urology of the Netherlands Cancer Institute – Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital, chief innovation officer at the Belgian surgical trainings center Orsi academy, and chair of the translational molecular imaging and therapy committee of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine. His research has received various personal awards, among which three ERC grants, NWO VENI, VIDI and VICI grants and a translational KWF-fellowship.
Molecular imaging and image-guided interventions
Within the LUMC, the chair ‘molecular imaging and image-guided interventions’ facilitates the realization of precision medicine by advancing the implementation of biomedical imaging technologies. More specifically, by targeting the molecular fingerprint of a disease using pharmaceuticals that contain a diagnostic label (e.g. radioactive, fluorescent or both), it becomes possible to accurately, but non-invasively, identify disease dissemination throughout the human body. Subsequently these images provide roadmaps that help stratify individual patients into sub-groups for which optimized treatment plans exist. Through the use of these roadmaps, imaging has become more than merely a diagnostic tool and has truly become an essential part of modern patient management. This provides the biomedical imaging community with a chance to rise above and beyond their facilitating diagnostic activities and actively get involved in patient treatment e.g. in the form of an out-patient clinic. In treatment, imaging can broadly be used for two purposes: 1) To accurately guide pharmaceutically based therapy (e.g. delivery of drugs, vaccines or therapeutic cells; so-called theragnostics) and/or provide insight in the underlying biological mechanisms. 2) Imaging can also be used to guide interventions with medical devices (e.g. biopsies, ablations, surgical resections, or radiotherapy). The latter means that the chair technically not only revolves around chemical innovations, but equally addresses hardware engineering e.g. surgical fluorescence cameras and digital medicine solutions such as image analysis and ‘gps-like’ navigation.
The medical aspects of the chair are expressed by the clinical implementation of the developed technologies, so-called translational science. In order to find their way into humans and in particular applications in clinical care (“from molecule/device to man”), the technologies under investigation address and unmet clinical need. To create a translational environment, the chair will actively work on creating an entrepreneurial and multidisciplinary team wherein technical personnel, scientists and clinicians partner up - if necessary, with industry - to deliver valorisation of continuously evolving ‘imaging toolbox’ that cuts across research disciplines. Integration of these innovations in clinical trials, (academic) education, public outreach activities, (inter)national collaborations/medical societies and private-public-partnerships ensures a broad dissemination and helps realize impact.
After studying chemistry at the University of Leiden Fijs completed a PhD at the University of Twente (2005; Mesa+ institute for nanotechnology, Enschede/ the Dutch Nuclear Research and Consultancy group, Petten). He moved to the Netherlands Cancer Institute - Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AvL) for a post doc position. Here he occupied different positions in the departments of Chemical Biology and Radiology and Nuclear Medicine and was promoted to associate staff scientist (2009) with an independent research line in interventional molecular imaging/image guided surgery. In 2011 he, and his group, moved to the department of Radiology at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). He started at the LUMC as associate -professor and was appointed to full professor in 2020 (chair: molecular imaging & image guided therapy).
No relevant ancillary activities