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The alliance of TU/e, WUR, UU, and UMC Utrecht (EWUU) has appointed two Scientific Directors and a Director EWUU Education to strengthen the collaboration between the four institutes in Eindhoven, Wageningen and Utrecht. They are appointed on the alliance’s main focus areas by the EWUU board. The institute 4 Preventive Health is honoured to announce the new appointment of Prof. dr. Roel Vermeulen who is a professor in Utrecht and guides the EWUU alliance’s ambitions in the area of Preventive Health.

The strategic alliance between TU/e, WUR, UU and UMC Utrecht was formed in 2019, and has experienced rapid growth since then. Almost 80 interdisciplinary research projects have been set up, with 400 researchers from the four institutions. At least nine inter-university challenges have been organised for both Master’s and Bachelor’s students. Next to this all students have the opportunity to easily enrol in courses provided by the partner institutions. An overview of various projects and activities can be found in the EWUU Highlight Report.

To help continue this pace of growth within the intitute 4 Preventive Health as well, the EWUU alliance has appointed Prof. dr. Roel Vermeulen as Scientific Director. With this appointment, he will also take on the role of EWUU professor, and serve as ambassador for the partnership. He will play a crucial role in tying the various institutions and disciplines together, with the goal of contributing to solving urgent problems society faces today.

Prof. dr. Roel Vermeulen is Professor of Environmental Epidemiology and Exposome Science at Utrecht University and Director of the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS) at Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at UMC Utrecht. His scientific research focuses on the environmental risk factors for health: what we eat, the air we breathe, our social interactions and lifestyle choices like smoking or exercise. Roel has been affiliated with the EWUU alliance’s Preventive Health programme since 2021.

“TU/e, WUR, UU and UMC Utrecht use a multi-disciplinary approach to work together on solutions for preventive health. The pressure on healthcare is one of the biggest societal challenges we face. Costs are soaring and soon it will require one in four people to work in healthcare to continue to provide quality care. Life expectancy has increased tremendously due to developments, vaccinations, improved hygiene and increased prosperity for example. The question now arises: how to address diseases of affluence effectively, such as obesity? There is much to be gained by concentrating more on prevention. But preventive measures will only have an effect if you intervene on multiple fronts simultaneously. So we desperately need to look at the entire system and work together from a variety of disciplines.”

Next to the appointment of our new Scientic Director, two other directors have been installed. Prof. dr. Ines Lopez Arteaga works as a professor at TU/e and is responsible for the alliance’s education ambitions. Prof. dr. ir. Huub Rijnaarts is a professor in Wageningen and leads the EWUU focus area of Circular Society. Read more about it on the general EWUU website.