A Personal Touch of Jack Fransen

Fransen, Jack.jpg

Please learn more about colleagues in our "Personal Touch" series setting employees in the spotlight. A light-hearted manner to learn about the colleagues you know and those you don't!.

This week: Jack Fransen






1. Name, nationality, current function, department & theme?
Jack Fransen, Dutch, Associate Professor and manager Microscopic Imaging Centre, Cell Biology, theme Nanomedicine.

2. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? Can you tell us something about your childhood years. 
When I grew up I became more and more interested in animals, reptiles in particular, and I wanted to be a veterinarian.

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study and why did you choose that study/those studies? 
I studied biology, initially as a second choice because I did not succeed in the lottery to become a veterinarian. However I liked the study very much and specialised in functional morphology (I was lucky to be able to work with snakes here and prepare my first paper) and Cell Biology where I came for the first time in contact with (electron) microscopy. I did my PhD in Leiden and specialised in immuno electron microscopy. I obtained a KNAW “akademie onderzoeker” grant in 1989 (predecessor of the VENI program) and came to Nijmegen in 1991.

4. The RIMLS motto is ‘to understand molecular mechanisms of disease’. What does this mean for you?
I like to study and understand the structure-function relations of cells and cell organelles, which in my opinion is a very important prerequisite to also understand the molecular mechanisms of disease.

5. Which international scientist inspires/inspired you the most? Please give a motivation why.
That is one of my promotors, Professor Joseph Tager, who constantly pushed me to combine biochemistry and histology and introduced me in the field of lysosomal storage diseases.

6. Which research discovery that you have made has made you most proud?
The effect of small metabolites (ATP) on the fluorescence behaviour of GFP

7. Given unlimited finance what experiment would you perform? 
Buy the equipment (super computer and additional microscopes) and hire the people to make full 3D reconstructions and do the data analysis of disease models, with special emphasis on tumor outgrowth.

8. What does your working area (desk, office) look like and what does it say about you (or your research)? 
My desk looks like a mess but is well organized (for me).  I judge myself as being organised, whether I look like a mess I leave to the reader ;-)

9. Nominate a colleague to be in the spotlight and what would you like to ask him or her? 
Gert-Jan Bakker. What’s the structural differencebetween a biophysicist and a cell-biologist?

10. What type of person are you, quick insights:
a) Mac or  PC:
b) Theater or Cinema:
c) Dine out or dine in: 
Dine out
d) Ferrari or Fiat:
e) Shopaholic or chocoholic: 
f) Culture or Nature:


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