Testimonial Melinda Duer

A portrait photo of Melinda Duer
Via the Radboud Excellence Initiative, I could advance my research through the excellent facilities at Radboud University.
Melinda Duer
Current role
Professor of Biological and Biomedical Chemistry at the University of Cambridge

Professor Melinda Duer was awarded the Radboud Excellence Initiative professorship in May 2021. Her collaboration with the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS) consists of three two-month visits in 2022 and 2023.

“What I like most about research is solving a complex problem by piecing together all sorts of things: experiments, thoughts, ideas, and theories. When you suddenly answer a complex puzzle, it’s a wonderful feeling. And I see collaboration as an essential part of that process.

My research looks at the molecular structure of tissues. Degenerative diseases cause the cells in tissues to misbehave and change the tissue structure. This often results in the tissue calcifying, as in hardening of the arteries. There are currently no cures for that and no way to stop the process once it starts. So, we need a big push to understand why calcification happens so we can work out how to stop it.

I know Professor Nico Sommerdijk of Radboudumc from conferences since he’s an international expert in the field of tissue calcification. He has built up an amazing lab with equipment that is truly unique for the projects I’m interested in. When he contacted me about a professorship within the Radboud Excellence Initiative, it gave me a chance to interact with his group and advance my research through the excellent facilities.

The hospitality team of the Excellence Initiative was incredibly helpful. They provided me with the best places to stay at and even recommended areas to explore. Additionally, the friendly and active atmosphere at RIMLS truly made me feel included in the research culture. We swapped ideas within the group, but I also had the chance to broaden my network and meet with Radboud’s Rector Magnificus personally and at one of the lunches the Excellence Initiative organises.

Nijmegen is a great and an easy place to live, with excellent public transport and amenities. I know from experience that it’s not easy to live and integrate in every place, which makes me value my experience in Nijmegen even more.”