dr.ir. JCM (Hans) VerhoefAssociate Professor
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I am driven by the idea that the great adventure in global nutrition and health is in gathering and using data to solve interesting and big, real-world problems. Nothing feels better than to help tackle undernutrition and infectious diseases that affect billions of children and pregnant women. Over the years, I have led research that has been instrumental in developing policies for mandatory fortification of industrially produced flour with iron and other micronutrients in low-income countries, as well as policies for seasonal chemoprevention to control malaria among children in the Sahel region (86million treatments administered in 2020 to a target population of 21.7million children).
I have lived and worked in Mexico, the Pacific and (mostly) in sub-Saharan Africa, where I was involved in the control of infectious diseases and micronutrient deficiencies. My 30+ years research expertise is mostly focused on the control of anaemia, iron deficiency and malaria, but I have also led and conducted research on deficiencies of vitamins and other minerals including vitamin A, zinc and folate. More recently, I have also worked to understand the links between gut infections (e.g., intestinal helminths, Giardia intestinalis, Salmonella, Campylobacter, pathogenic E. coli) and their potential environmental risk factors (e.g. livestock ownership, hygiene conditions), gut inflammation, gut functioning and, ultimately, child growth.
As a clinical epidemiologist, I have a strong interest in the application and development of sound statistical methodology. It has been an enriching experience to work over the years with colleagues and students from many different disciplines, ranging from clinical sciences to plant breeding, and from chemistry to social sciences. I like to learn from others as much as I like teaching others.