Jan Veldink obtained his PhD in 2004 on environmental and genetic risk factors of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS.) He carried out post-doctoral work at UCLA, Los Angeles, developing an algorithm to detect copy number variation in genome-wide SNP data and working on weighted gene co-expression network analysis. Since then he combined clinical work with the supervision of 10 PhD students who finished their thesis (two cum laude). Since 2008 he has a fixed position as a clinical neurologist in the UMC Utrecht. He was appointed associate professor in 2011 in neurogenetics and professor of neurology and neurogenetics in June 2014. In 2015, he supervises 7 PhD students and three post-docs.
Jan Veldink thinks that the challenges we are faced with in modern day neurogenetics need an integrative approach. The classical approach of linkage and candidate gene studies is clearly insufficient to provide new answers to these many complex genetic disorders. Instead, a unique combination is needed of i) detailed clinical phenotyping, ii) hands-on expertise on biobanking and databasing, iii) state of the art expertise in bioinformatics and analysis of large datasets, and iv) finally the international connection to many consortia.
Jan Veldink has established a research line on ALS genetics, epidemiology and transcriptomics with a proven track record in both array-based and sequencing technology. His expertise in these fields receives international recognition. The combined expertise in clinical neurology with high-performance computing, bioinformatics and epidemiology is unique. He has established national and international collaborations through several granted FP7/ European projects, which greatly facilitates addressing these objectives in large patient cohorts. Also, he managed to establish a US HIPAA compliant international biobanking register and patient database, enabling the querying of ALS pathology material, clinical and life-style questionnaire data in an international context. Since 2014, he is leading the ongoing analyses of the increasing volume of sequencing data in Project MinE (www.projectmine.com). He supervises several teaching courses on neurogenetics within the Master’s and Bachelor’s programs of the Graduate School of Life Sciences of the Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
His work has been published in > 150 publications with several papers in Nature Genetics, New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Neurology and Human Molecular Genetics.