Dr Alma Tostmann
Researcher & Lecturer, Primary Healthcare Department, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences.
Dr Alma Tostmann studied biomedical sciences and completed her studies as an epidemiologist at Radboud university medical center. For her PhD research, she studied the treatment and spread of tuberculosis, for which she performed two years of field work and data collection at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre in Moshi, in northern Tanzania. For this, she received one of the fifteen international UNESCO/L’Oréal For Women in Science Fellowships. She was also admitted to the highly competitive European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training. During this training programme in the United Kingdom, she further honed her specialisation in applied infectious disease control, disease outbreaks, and applied research.
Dr Alma Tostmann is currently working as an infectious diseases epidemiologist at the Academische Werkplaats AMPHI (AMPHI academic workshop), Primary Healthcare Department at the Radboud university medical center. With dedication, she successfully guides physicians and nurses in performing scientific research and, in doing so, contributes to the academic standard of the workplace and the generation of a collective knowledge infrastructure, within which research and education programmes are developed, performed, and strengthened. The topics of these studies include infectious disease prevention in adult refugees and acceptance of vaccinations within the Reformatorische Gezindte (reformed denomination). According to Jeannine Hautvast, coordinator of the Academische Werkplaats AMPHI, her scientific, social, and personal qualities make her a highly valuable professional and a role model for young biomedical scientists.
The jury selected Dr Alma Tostmann, because she performed extremely well in all the criteria. In addition to her excellent scientific publications, she coordinates and develops education in the field of infectious disease epidemiology for the Medicine and Biomedical Sciences degree programmes. She actively brings students into contact with the world outside of the academy by organising work visits to the National Institute for Public Health and Environment, “speed dates” with professionals, or an annual study trip to the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2014-2015, she was also awarded the title of “Lecturer of the Year” in the Biomedical Sciences degree programme and her core module of Global Health was chosen as the 2014-2015 Core Module of the Year.
The area in which Dr Alma Tostmann especially excels, in the jury’s opinion, is in her social involvement. The jury was very impressed with her work as the Vice President of the EPIET Alumni Network. This is the largest European infectious disease epidemiology network. She is also active as a role model in “speed date” sessions with girls in the later years of their secondary education in order to encourage them to choose study programmes in the natural sciences or technology. In the context of the project Wetenschapper in de Klas (Scientist in the Classroom), she developed a teaching programme with three other researchers for primary school students in year 7/8, which earned them the Radboud Science Award. Finally, she maintained a blog on the website of the women’s magazine VIVA, which she used to generate awareness of the topic of tuberculosis in developing countries.
The other thirteen nominees in the Medical Science Category were: Dr Nynke Scherpbier, Dr Sanne Botden, Dr Ellen van den Boogaard, Dr Silvie Timmers, Dr Kalijn Bol, Dr Nienke de Vries, Dr Mangala Srinivas, Dr Jenneken Naaldenberg, Dr Olga Husson, Dr Sandra Heskamp, Dr Annemarie Boleij, Dr Suzette Elias and Dr Corina Greven.