Hine van Os, PhD candidate Neurology

“Because of collaborations with different research groups, from both the LUMC and Leiden University, you can make an impact.” Making an impact by working together. That is what PhD candidate Hine van Os is trying to accomplish with his research.

Already during his study of Medicine, Hine took his first steps in to the world of research through the MD/PhD-programme of the LUMC. The LUMC offers this programme specifically to provide students with the opportunity of giving their research career a flying start.

The start of an important research
Now as a PhD candidate, Hine is continuing the research project that he started as a student of Medicine. Under supervision of Prof. Marieke Wermer and in collaboration with the Hartstichting, Hine hopes to come to a better risk assessment for stroke prevention among women with the help of artificial intelligence. And for a research as complex as this one, all the help you can get is welcome. According to Hine, collaboration between multiple departments is one of the things the LUMC excels in.

Collaborating during your research; self-evident at the LUMC
As Hine says: “For instance, the LUMC organizes courses and lectures specifically for all PhD students, regardless of their field of expertise.” The primary goal of such occasions is for candidates to develop themselves, but also to connect the students with each other. And Hine’s research project lends itself eminently for collaboration and engagement: “I work at the department of Neurology. In addition, I work closely together with Public Health and Primary Care, get support from the Department of Biostatistics with the analysis of data and get help with the thinking process from the Department of Epidemiology during the entire process. During the entire process I also feel supported by our amazing IT services of the Department of Medical Intelligence.” Thus, studying for a PhD is far from a solo project.

The LUMC as a center voor personal development
Apart from working together for your research and learning from this type of collaborating, you also develop personally because of the low threshold within the company. As Hine says: “Specialists in different fields and from different departments are all very approachable. This greatly benefits you as a researcher. The easy access and informality of these meetings are very enjoyable and good for sharing knowledge. Within the LUMC you do not feel a particular ‘hierarchy’: “Professors are very approachable and open to all your questions regarding difficult topics or obstacles in your research.”

PhD candidates in the LUMC get connected with each other and seek each other out
As a researcher in training you do not only engage with specialists and supervisors: “No”, Hine says, “besides PhD candidates getting connected with each other by the LUMC, we also seek each other out. For instance, at the Department of Neurology, we organize as so called ‘Statistics lunch’. During this meeting we study a book together and help each other move forward.”

But this sense of togetherness does not limit itself to ‘business’ lunches. PhD candidates also know how to relax and have a good time together: “We arrange all kinds of activities. For instance, every Friday afternoon everybody gets invited to come to the bar of the faculty and enjoy some beverages. This way we also try to have fun in between working”, says Hine.

The future of Hine’s research
With his research, Hine hopes to come to a pilot-implementation of his findings. If it is up to Hine, general practitioners will work with automated risk assessment systems to better prevent strokes occurring in women. Moreover, he hopes that collaboration will add an extra dimension to his research: “Because of collaborations with different research groups, from both the LUMC and Leiden University, you can make an impact.” And it is an impact that Hine is more than happy to make.