View this email in your browser
Newsletter October 2020
Keeping our fingers crossed
My cat seemed to have understood the importance of adhering to this intelligent lockdown when we sat down and watched Primer Minister Mark Rutte together on TV last week. She now sleeps all day, hardly leaves her bed, let alone the house. She stopped picking fights with the neighbourhood cats, and she seems lost. Does she not want to socialise with her fellow kind? Isn't she bored at home? Perhaps she is sick of the sight of me? For my cat's sanity, let us do our part and keep our fingers (paws) crossed that things will get better soon - so that we can all enjoy going outside again. 
In this newsletter, we hear from Juliëtte Severin, head of EMC's Infection Prevention Unit on what is being done and what to look forward to. We also introduce Lucia Giannini, our newest addition to the Promeras board.

Reminder: Sign up for our first Mental Health Workshop on 4th November! Only a few spots left for grabs. See below for more information. 

Juliëtte Severin
Clinical microbiologist, head of EMC's Infection Prevention Unit
What interesting studies are ongoing in the infection prevention unit at the moment? 
The main aim of hospital Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) is to prevent healthcare-related infections and transmission of microorganisms. At the moment, most of our activities in patient care concern COVID-19. New knowledge emerges every day and the situation in our region is also quite dynamic, which all may affect IPC measures inside the hospital. It is now time to evaluate some of these IPC measures and see what we have learned in the past 6 months. For example: was the way the patient care was organised for COVID-19 patients the most efficient in regards to the use of masks, gowns, goggles and gloves? What about COVID-19 transmission between healthcare workers and patients? For this latter analysis, we collaborate with Viroscience and our occupational health colleagues.
There are also a couple of exciting studies we are working on where we look further into the environment, both in real life and in experimental set-ups. Some pathogenic and very resistant bacteria managed to survive very well in certain niches in the hospital! How is that? Is this because of environmental factors or bacterial factors or is it a combination of both? And how can we get rid of these unwanted bacteria? Get to know these studies more here: ContaminatieLaboratorium and SAMPAN study 

In terms of the future of the infection prevention unit, what do you see coming? How different will it be from pre-COVID?
Never has there been so much attention for infection prevention and control! The general public is so much involved. There are newspaper stories about aerosols, masks and hand hygiene. This increased awareness of spread of microorganisms is already helpful, as patients have a better understanding why certain measures are taken in the hospital. For example: While in the past we had to explain to patients the meaning of a “contact investigation”, now this is general knowledge. It would be great if we could have more involvement of patients in shaping and directing our IPC measures. Another big advantage of this increased awareness is that some long unanswered research questions will  be addressed in the coming years, for example on the role of aerosols in transmission of a variety of microorganisms.

For the long-term, it is going to be thrilling to see what the impact of COVID-19 is on antimicrobial resistance. In the Netherlands, there seems to be much less use of antibiotics in the community, people stopped travelling outside Europe, and in hospitals, healthcare workers are now much more aware of basic infection control measures such as hand hygiene. On a national level, the number of new very resistant Gram-negative bacteria has decreased, but will this be a permanent effect? Nevertheless, pandemic preparedness for all kind of microorganisms will receive more attention.

I’m sure this corona crisis has sparked some interest in Infection prevention, what advise do you have for PhD students/clinicians that would like to venture into this field?
In the field of IPC, there are still so many gaps of knowledge. There is definitely a need for more researchers from different fields: anthropologists, psychologists, very fundamental biologists, epidemiologists, engineers, and technical designers. To have a better understanding of the large field of topics within IPC, it is helpful to become a member of some active organisations, such as the Healthcare Infection Society, based in the UK, or the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Researchers that are interested can also contact us via

Do you want your PhD research to be a news headline? 
Dokter Media is an online platform where medical reports from the media are provided with a short, understandable explanation, where exaggerated claims in health-related science news is nuanced and interpreted.  

Dokter Media is now inviting PhD students themselves to write or tell – in layman’s terms – what their research means for daily practice. Together, you and Dokter Media will find an appropriate way to communicate your results to the public, even if your work has yet to received any media attention. Pieces produced by PhD students will be published on Dokter Media’s website and further brought to attention via its social media channels, and will frequently be discussed in their podcast.

To participate or to obtain more information, please contact 
Dokter Media

 Mental Health Management workshop
Don't forget to sign up for our first Mental Health Management workshop happening on 4th of November.
  • Workshop : Phd Student as a top athlete - work-life balance 4:00 - 5:00pm 
Workshops will be held on the first Wednesday of each month. 
To ensure participation and to support upcoming workshops, we ask for a Registration Fee of €5 per workshop. 
For more information on this workshop: Mentalhealth & Event
To register, please contact:

Online Data Management Plan workshop 
Enhance the quality and impact of your research! Good research and reproducibility starts with proper data management. Need funding? Then a data management plan is required.

The Medical Library and the Research Suite have developed a practical workshop where data management, version control, pseudonymisation, privacy, (long-term) data storage, sharing data, metadata, data valorisation, and availability & reuse of data will be discussed.

25th November 2020 0900-1200
25th January 2021 1400-1700

For more information and to register, send an e-mail to

TIAS-MBE Winter Academy

Dear fellow AIOS and ANIOS, 

TIAS School for Business and Society and Medical Business Education will organize a Winter Academy from the 18th to the 25th of January 2021 in Tilburg.  

In this workshop, the latest academic insights, together with leadership, strategy, finances and organisation in healthcare will be discussed. Talks will be given by some of the best in Dutch healthcare.

To join, please send CV and motivation letter to 
For more information please visit:

Lucia Giannini  - our new addition!
Lucia is currently doing her PhD in the Department of Neurology deciphering the role of neuroinflammation in the pathophysiology of frontotemporal dementia - a young-onset form of dementia. Alongside other members, she is involved in promoting mental health amongst PhD students and also a member in the international PhD community task force. 

We welcome Lucia to the Promeras board! 

Erasmus University Rotterdam will be celebrating its 107th anniversary on Friday 6th of November. 

Honorary doctorates, a the FAME Athena Award will  given out on that day. This event starts at 3.30pm and will be broadcasted online.

For more information on the award recipients and the day itself, check it out here.

Happy Birthday EUR !!
Copyright © 2020 Promeras, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp