Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Marjolein Klop

Date of news: 1 February 2021

Foto the life of...What’s your name, nationality, current function, and department?
Marjolein Klop, I’m a Dutch first-year PhD student at the department of Biophysics (DCN).

What is the topic of your PhD project and what does your work look like in practice?
My PhD project is about orthostatic hypotension, so patients, especially older adults, who become dizzy and light-headed after standing up. This can result in falls, and even hospitalization, and it has also been related to negative health outcomes like dementia and mortality. Therefore, it is important to have an accurate, but also simple, diagnostic tool, to preferably implement in a patient’s home setting. This tool will be using near-infrared spectroscopy. In practice, this means that I’m setting up clinical measurements, and performing and analyzing these.

What has your career path been so far and how did you come to your current position?
I studied Technical Medicine at the University of Twente in Enschede. The last two years of the master program completely consisted of internships (five in total), of which I spent one short one and my one-year graduation internship at the department of Geriatric medicine. That’s where I gained my enthusiasm for hemodynamic (especially blood pressure and cerebral perfusion) measurements and working with older adults, and where I met my current supervisors.

What did you want to be when you were younger?
Veterinarian and writer (the latter I may still be dreaming of).

What does your perfect weekend look like?
A perfect weekend day for me is waking up at ease, having breakfast and drinking my cup of coffee. Then going outside for a long run in the forest. After that, I like to spend the rest of the day with friends, having conversations about nearly everything, and enjoying dinner together.

What is your favorite book and why?
A Dutch book called ‘De meeste mensen deugen’ (in English called ‘Human kind: a hopeful history’, but the Dutch title translates to something like ‘Most people are good’, although that doesn’t sound as catchy as in Dutch), from the journalist organization The Correspondent. The underlying message I took from this book is that positive things and gestures are equally or even more contagious than negativity, which is something I’d like to put into practice.

What are you looking forward to in life?
I just like to take life as it comes, and try to enjoy and value even small things every day. However, the Covid situation makes me look forward to some things when they are possible again: sitting on a terrace in the sun, going out for dinner, running marathons, going on a long holiday, still much to dream of…