Dr. T.G.J. Derks – Coordinator of the Summer School on Pediatrics

I am a consultant in pediatric metabolic medicine and principal investigator at the Beatrix Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Since my PhD thesis defense in 2007 (title: “MCAD deficiency: clinical and laboratory studies”), I have developed a special interest, both clinically and scientifically, in inherited disorders of glycogen metabolism (i.e. hepatic glycogen storage diseases) and mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation disorders.

I have been involved with the Summer School since 2003 and coordinator since 2013. International sharing of knowledge and data is crucial to proceed for our patients. Meeting international (future) colleagues is a nice element of the Summer School. As a clinical pediatric metabolic fellow, I have worked for 12 months at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (prof dr Moacid Wajner and prof dr Ida Schwartz) and for 1 month at the Glycogen Storage Disease Program, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA (prof dr David Weinstein).

The Summer School on Pediatrics gives international students the opportunity to meet the most beautiful medical specialty in the most beautiful environment. Working as a pediatrician is very dynamic and the communication with (and between) patients and parents is very interesting. Sometimes a small therapeutic intervention has major impact for the rest of a child’s life. Our Pediatric Hospital is unique, because we host all pediatric subspecialties and many interesting lines of research, for example liver transplantation, pulmonary hypertension, neonatology and several metabolic diseases. Our research laboratory has many techniques to unravel different disease mechanisms. During the Summer School, many colleagues (pediatricians and researchers) will provide a challenging educational program, which is nicely interconnected with the social program.

I am inviting talented international bio-medical students with special interest in pediatrics to participate in our next Summer School and to meet many of my enthusiastic colleagues. Do not hesitate to ask one of us during the Summer School, if you would like to return for a clinical or research internship.

Dr. T.G.J. Derks

Foto Terry Derks