Prof Cisca Wijmenga

University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Dr. Cisca Wijmenga studied Biology at the University of Groningen and obtained her Ph.D. (Cum Laude) from the Leiden University. She spent time in the National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH (USA) as a Fulbright scholar and as a postdoctoral fellow working under Dr. F.S. Collins. After holding several professorships at universities in Utrecht and Groningen, she became the Lodewijk Sandkuijl Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Groningen in 2017 which she holds along an adjunct professorship in Medicine at the University of Oslo.  

She was the lead of the “Genome of the Netherlands” project and project leader for “Nutrition and Health” in the Top Institute for Food and Nutrition and participated in EU projects such as the COPACTIC study (COPD), TANDEM and PreventCD (celiac disease). She is currently one of the principal investigators of the “Netherlands Organ-on-a-Chip Initiative”. A total of 42 Ph.D. students are or have been supervised by Prof Wijmenga and she has published more than 500 texts including peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and conference papers which placed her in the top 1% of the “Web of Science highly cited researcher” since 2014.  

Besides researching and teaching, she travels around the world giving lectures on different biomedical topics. Furthermore, she is a member of different societies such as the Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities, the Acedemia Europea, among others and has been awarded multiple grants such as the NWO Spinoza prize (2015), the University of Groningen Investment Agenda for “Personalized Health” (2015) and NWO Gravitation grant (2017) just to mention the recent ones.  

She currently collaborates with national (VUMC in Amsterdam; Leiden University, UMCG Groningen, UMC Utrecht, Radboud University and The Dutch Initiative on Crohn and Colitis) and international researchers (Harvard Medical School, University of Chicago, and the University of Oslo) and with Lifelines the largest biobank in the Netherlands to understand how genetic variation contributes to chronic diseases and the role of the microbiome in this, and to apply this knowledge to prevent or treat diseases.