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Member Spotlight - Eef Dirksen, CASSS Associate Director and Mass Spec & NLab Committee Member

Wednesday, January 17, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Amy Cano
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This Q&A is part of an ongoing CASSS series where we invite members to meet other members of the CASSS community.

This time, we turn our Member Spotlight on Eef Dirksen, a CASSS Associate Director and member of both the Mass Spec and Netherlands Area Biotech Discussion Group committees. He is currently the Senior Principal Scientist Bioanalytical at Synthon Biopharmaceuticals B.V. in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. 

 

Q. How long have you been with your current organization and/or position?

 A. I have been with Synthon Biopharmaceuticals BV for 3 years now and approximately one year in my current position, which is more focused on line management of scientists than the position I originally applied for.  

 Q. What was your motivation to volunteer with CASSS?  

 A. After attending the Mass Spec meeting in Boston in 2013, I wanted to contribute to the group of people that was providing a podium to industry and academic colleagues all involved in highly similar work, sharing similar interests and (solutions to) professional issues. I was positively surprised by the open atmosphere and expressed my interest in wanting to join CASSS. After that, I was asked to join the Program Committee of CASSS Mass Spec, which I’ve enjoyed very much.

Q. Where did you grow up?  

A. I grew up in Eindhoven, a small city in the southern part of the Netherlands (close to the Belgian border). The city is mainly known for
the fact that it is the hometown of Philips Electronics, which still has a flourishing and innovative Campus in Eindhoven that is said to be
the most innovative square mile in the Netherlands.

Q. What do you do to relax? Do you have any hobbies?  

A. I relax by enjoying time with my children and girlfriend. I love to be outside, either walking or on a bike. When I have time, I also enjoy
running long(er) distances (10-15k) and riding ‘retro’ mountainbikes (from the nineties) that I’ve either built, or restored, myself. The good
thing of that hobby is that it is not only really relaxing to stroll the internet for parts, but it is also wonderful to put a bike together and
eventually ride and feel how it behaves on the wonderful off-road terrain that surrounds my hometown of Nijmegen.

Q. What's your favorite type of food?  

A. I enjoy a lot of different types of food, but I mostly enjoy Italian cuisine, which is probably the result of the fact that our parents took us
on a lot of summer holidays to the most beautiful parts of Italy.

Q. Do you speak any languages besides English?  

A. Well, Dutch, of course, and I was taught to speak German, but I practice that too little unfortunately. I do enjoy speaking German every
now and then though.

Q. Do you have any children? Pets?  

A.  I have two wonderful daughters: Esmee, who’s almost 3 and Eline, who’s almost 9 months. They are really lovely, fast developing, girls
who can take your mind off the daily things (and keep you awake at night..). No pets at this moment. 

Q. What’s your favorite type of music? 

A. I enjoy various types of music, basically all but classical and typical Dutch music. I mostly enjoy listening to hardrock and metal bands
that I got to know in the nineties (Machine Head, Life of Agony, Fear Factory, etc.) and that I saw perform on several occasions, at
festivals, for example.

Q. What was the last movie you saw in the theater or book you read and loved? 

A. I can’t remember the last time I saw a movie in a theatre, I don’t even recall which movie I saw last (during a flight into the Netherlands,
coming from a CASSS meeting in Boston last year). The most recent book I read and enjoyed very much was ‘The Girl on the Train’ (that I
also read while travelling, as I don’t spend a lot of time reading when I’m at home, other than the newspaper).

Q. What famous person do you admire and why? 

A. A variety, for several reasons, but one related to my work is Alexander Makarov, who invented the concept of the Orbitrap, which has
revolutionized the applicability of high resolution mass spectrometry. I admire people that have certain skills and/or knowledge with
which they are able to develop groundbreaking concepts that shake up a complete field/paradigm. Having worked with an FT-ICR mass
spectrometer, as well as with various versions of Orbitrap machines, it is really impressive to see how such developments impact your work.

Q. What would people be surprised to know about you?  

A. I can be really envious of people that completely master a certain musical instrument, especially drums/percussion. I would love to be
taught how to play the drums as I feel that can be really enjoyable and is another way to take your mind off of all other things!

 

 


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