Considerans Gouden medaille 2020
Patricia has an outstanding profile in the area of biomaterials. Most striking is the foundation of her work that is rooted in both materials chemistry and regenerative medicine. This foundation brought her in a unique position that allowed her to bridge the gap between designing, synthesizing and testing new materials in the lab on the one hand, and the application of these materials in real-life medical settings on the other hand. This has made her a world leader in supramolecular biomaterials.
Patricia studied chemistry at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, obtained her PhD with Bert Meijer at the Eindhoven University of Technology in 2006, and earned a second PhD in medicine with Marja van Luyn from the University of Groningen in 2013. During a postdoctoral stay at Northwestern University with Sam Stupp, she became intrigued by the design of dynamic supramolecular materials for biomedical applications. This became the main topic of her independent group, which she started at the Eindhoven University of Technology in 2014. The dream of her group is to make synthetic materials with life-like properties that orchestrate the regeneration of tissues and organs.
With this dream in mind, many developments have come from the
Dankers lab. Engineering weak, supramolecular interactions into biomaterials has provided them with unique properties that have shown their value in medical practice. Several of these materials have beneficial properties in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Amongst these materials are dynamic and modular hydrogel materials that allow localized drug delivery, and modified supramolecular elastomeric materials that incorporate Nature’s way of feedback control.
Patricia’s work is well visible nationally and internationally. This visibility is evident from her strong publication list and international lectures, as well as the many collaborative projects in which she is active. She has won various awards and prizes, including the Pauline van Wachem Award, an ERC Starting grant, and the Journal of Polymer Science Innovation Award.
Patricia has very strong ties with the scientific community around her as well as with the general public. She contributes to an amazingly wide range of outreach activities. She also has been a board member of the KNAW’s Jonge Akademie, and is currently the chair of the Netherlands’ Round Table of Chemistry. All these activities make Patricia into the eminent ambassador for chemistry she currently is.
Congratulations to Patricia Dankers to her well-deserved recognition as this year’s winner of the KNCV Gold Medal!
Chair of the KNCV Gold Medal 2020 Committee