Royal distinction for Angélique Janssens

Date of news: 26 April 2021

Eight professors from Radboud University and Radboud university medical center are receiving royal distinctions for their exceptional academic and/or social achievements. Angélique Janssens, Professor of Historical Demography, receives the distinction of Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau (Officier in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau).

Angélique Janssens has greatly promoted the study of health in the past in recentAngélique Janssens years. Among other things, she studied the social differences in causes of death, the decline of infectious diseases and what has contributed to this, and the differences between men and women in terms of health. Janssens knows how to involve the general public in her research, such as in the project The Amsterdam Health & Disease Database 1854-1940, in which some 800 volunteers spent more than three years jointly transcribing and digitising ‘death certificates’ from Amsterdam (around 800,000 pieces).

As initiator and driving force behind the SHiP (Studying the History of Health in Port cities) network, Janssens contributes to the international exchange of data on causes of death. She is also committed to an international standard classification of historical causes of death registration. She has established interdisciplinary collaboration in her research into the role of family influences on child mortality and longevity, in cooperation with molecular epidemiologists from Leiden University Medical Center.

Janssens is also active in the field of gender history. She is, by special appointment, Professor of Historical Demography at Maastricht University with a special focus on work and gender. Within this context, she co-leads research on the historical backgrounds of the socio-economic health situation in Limburg.

Award Ceremony

On Wednesday 28 April, Mayor Bruls of the municipality of Nijmegen will present the royal awards at a gathering in the Aula of Radboud University. Due to the coronavirus, it is unfortunately impossible to attend this award ceremony in person. Those interested can attend the award ceremony from 4:45 pm to 5:45 pm, via

Other awards

The Order of Orange-Nassau is linked to special services to society. 
The Order of the Netherlands Lion is awarded for services to the sciences and the arts. The other six Radboudians are the following people:

  • René ten Bos, Professor of Philosophy of the Management Sciences
    Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau [Officier in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau]
  • Jan Buitelaar, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
    Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion [Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw]
  • Beatrice van der Heijden, Professor of Business Administration (Strategic HR Management)
    Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion [Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw]
  • Nicoline Hoogerbrugge, Professor of Hereditary Cancer
    Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion [Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw]
  • Hans de Kroon, Professor of Experimental Plant Ecology
    Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau [Officier in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau]
  • Jolanda de Vries, Professor of Translational Tumor Immunology
    Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion [Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw]
  • Koos van der Velden, Professor of Public Health
    Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion [Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw]

Prof. René ten Bos, Professor of Philosophy of the Management Sciences

René ten Bos has published an impressive number of often controversial publications on strategy, ethics, governance and politics. The issue of the limits of organisation is central to his work. He is interested in critical management theories and writes on a variety of subjects, such as organisational ethics, strategic management, gender studies, the relationship between humans and animals, and the ecological consequences of human activity.
From 2017 until 2019, Ten Bos was Philosopher Laureate [Denker des Vaderlands], but before and since then, he was and has often been on the road to share his scientific insights through lectures, guest lectures, readings at companies, government agencies, associations and schools. In doing so, he has reached a very wide audience, both nationally and internationally. Ten Bos knows how to resonate with large groups outside academia. The reaction to his speeches is almost always that he has a remarkable perspective on matters that people experience on a daily basis, both in and beyond their daily work. This makes people reconsider things that seem obvious at first glance. His students also appreciate his unusual perspective.

Prof. Jan Buitelaar, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Jan Buitelaar, as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, has been able to improve the lives of many children and their families. His research has made significant strides in the biological understanding of ADHD and autism. Both are particularly prevalent among adolescents and young adults. Buitelaar has published hundreds of scientific articles and book chapters that have had a major impact in the field. This is thanks to his innovation of organising large-scale cohorts of patients, their siblings and control subjects, on the basis of which, Buitelaars and his team have uncovered the genetic and neural underpinnings of developmental disorders. Buitelaars developed a screening questionnaire to detect autism at an early stage. He was one of the first to demonstrate that ADHD also occurs in adults. He developed an elimination diet for children with ADHD that has been the impetus for a great deal of subsequent research into the relationship between the brain and food. Jan Buitelaar is very passionate about getting his research into the spotlight. His advocacy in the media for attention to the relationship between poverty and mental health is characteristic for his social engagement. Buitelaar knows how to clearly articulate complex issues and get his important message across.

Prof. Beatrice van der Heijden, Professor of Business Administration (Strategic HR Management)

Beatrice van der Heijden's areas of expertise are career development, sustainable employability, age stereotyping and ageing in the workplace. She is a pioneer in the field of sustainable employment. She was the first to include topics such as age diversity, perceived workload, long-term perspective and informal learning curves in her research on sustainable employability. Van der Heijden’s research also provides organisations with instruments that give them insights into people’s choice behaviour during their careers. She makes her scientific insights accessible to professionals in HR Management as well as to a wider audience. Van der Heijden is passionately committed to the sustainable employability of all employees, with a special focus on older employees, out of the complete conviction to, and deep respect for, the value of everyone’s talents for an organisation. Her scientific ambitions merge seamlessly with her social goals. There is no clear distinction between her academic activities and her social ones. One flows from the other, and both provide insight into, and inspiration for, their counterpart.

Prof. Nicoline Hoogerbrugge, Professor of Hereditary Cancer

Nicoline Hoogerbrugge is a passionate doctor and academic, who is committed to her patients, colleagues, and the development of her profession. Under her guidance, the Family Tumor Outpatient Clinic at Radboudmc has taken shape and awareness of potential hereditary cancer predisposition and its consequences for patients and their families has greatly increased. Time and again, Hoogerbrugge has developed initiatives that are imitated elsewhere in the country and that improve the care that people with hereditary cancer receive. Her efforts as (deputy) chair of guideline committees on hereditary bowel cancer have, for example, led to the Netherlands becoming one of the first countries in which bowel tumours that occur at an early age are examined for characteristics of hereditary predisposition, a practice that was considered controversial by many at the time. Hoogerbrugge is also chair of the European Reference Network on Genetic Tumour Risk Syndromes (ERN GENTURIS). Here, healthcare professionals work together with patient organisations to better recognise and treat people with hereditary predispositions to cancer. Nicoline Hoogerbrugge is a medical specialist who puts her talent at the service of many and does a great deal to realise her ideal of preventing cancer where possible and providing optimal treatment where necessary.

Prof. Hans de Kroon, Professor of Experimental Plant Ecology

In recent years, Hans de Kroon has devoted himself to the restoration of national and international biodiversity. With his notorious publication on the decline of insectivorous birds in Nature in 2014 (Hallmann et al. 2014; Declines in insectivorous birds are associated with high neonicotinoid concentrations), he made a significant contribution to the public debate on the use of pesticides. This publication attracted worldwide attention, led to debates in the Dutch House of Representatives and European Parliament - among others - and resulted in adjustments being made to neonicotinoid policy in the Netherlands and in Europe.
Another publication, on the steep decline of insects in nature reserves, has attracted even more international attention, and has led to the national Delta Programme on Biodiversity Restoration in the Netherlands and to much more attention to restoring biodiversity internationally (Hallmann et al 2017, More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas. Plos One). In order to be able to contribute to solutions for the problems outlined, Healthy Landscape has been founded. Here, De Kroon works on research that provides the knowledge and insights required to create sustainable, health landscapes for plants, people and animals with colleagues from various disciplines and partners in the field. De Kroon is also the inventor and designer of the Phytotron, or rootlab, at Radboud University: a unique facility for studying the underground activities and root growth of plants. This new fields of research has grown rapidly and has led to many new insights into the underground interactions between plants.

Prof. Jolanda de Vries, Professor of Translational Tumor Immunology

Jolanda de Vries is a leader in translational tumor immunology research. She is one of the few experts in the field of cellular cancer vaccines, particularly dendritic cell vaccines. One of De Vries’ successes is the preventative vaccination of healthy carriers of Lynch syndrome, who are at high risk of developing cancer at a young age. Another important result is the conditional admission of skin cancer treatment with dendritic cells from the blood to the basic health insurance package. This allows a randomised phase III study to be conducted.
De Vries was the first to use imaging techniques to research the function of dendritic cells after they had been given to the patients. In doing so she showed, for example, how important the route of administration of cellular vaccines is to ensure maximum effect.
De Vries knows how to inspire students, PhDs and postdocs from a variety of backgrounds (medical, biomedical, chemical). She is very active in informing clinicians, patients and other interested parties about the results of her research. She regularly gives lectures for patients, patient organisations and healthcare professionals. She has also given lessons at primary schools to get children from 8 to 10 years old excited about science.

More information

Martijn Gerritsen, spokesperson Radboud University