Presented to: Dr Jeffrey Beekman
This award is offered to one awardee who is both a researcher and is pursuing an active research project in Cystic Fibrosis Science and Medicine.
Dr J.M. Beekman obtained a PhD in molecular immunology in 2004 at Utrecht University, and performed multiple post-docs on molecular and cellular immunology. In October 2010, he applied his molecular background to start a translational research line on cystic fibrosis (CF) in the University Medical Center Utrecht, working closely with the CF clinical team.
He explored several approaches to develop novel molecular and cellular readouts that could help to better understand individual disease expression and response to novel CFTR-directed therapy.
Dr Beekman focused on variable easy-to-access cells for his studies, such as immune cells and nasal or rectal epithelium. His lab pioneered the analysis of CFTR function in intestinal adult stem cell cultures termed organoids, and used his new swelling assay to develop the first personalised medicine application in CF.
In addition, his work led to various breakthroughs on CFTR-directed therapeutics and CFTR gene repair. Dr Beekman's work received the ECFS Gerd Döring award in 2015, the best translational research prize 2012–2014 from the Dutch Respiratory Society, and the best translational research article in 2013 from the Dutch Paediatric Society.
He is currently Associate Professor and affiliated with the Department of Paediatrics of the UMCU.
The ERS Excellence Award for Research in Cystic Fibrosis grants €7,500 to the recipient. This prize is financially supported by Vertex.