Guus van Dongen

Category Health: Guus van Dongen, professor of medical imaging and biomarkers at Amsterdam UMCdeveloped new imaging techniques to visualize the behaviour of medicines in the body at molecular level. “We have no idea what medicines really do in our bodies. It’s like driving into Amsterdam without navigation.” One way is to make drugs slightly radioactive so that they light up on a scan: a radioactive TomTom. This can, for example, be used in cancer treatment. Text continues under the video >>


Van Dongen: “As people age, we are increasingly confronted with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. And our brain is quite sealed off, so to get a drug there and be certain it reaches the target, there are no other options but through imaging.” Van Dongen was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Amsterdam UMC Imaging Center and has found a new challenge at a biotech company where he recently started working: “To apply imaging to the entire development process of new drugs so that we make sure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

Film maker: Caren Huygelen