During the celebration of the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Dies Natalis on Monday, 10 January 2011, the UvA will award honorary doctorates to American Professor Nadia Rosenthal, an expert in the field of regenerative medicine, and Dutch journalist and documentary maker Ad van Liempt.
Journalist, writer and documentary maker Ad van Liempt (1949) has held several positions at the NOS/NPS (one of the largest Dutch broadcasting organisations). He was head of domestic news for the daily television news programme NOS Journaal, head of Studio Sport and chief editor of current affairs programme NOVA. The last position he held - until January 2010 - was that of chief editor of history, in which he had final responsibility for all NPS history programmes. In 2006, he was appointed lecturer in 'Investigative Journalism on Television' at the HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht due to his broad expertise. With a large number of original publications and documentaries to his name, Van Liempt has made an important contribution to historical research and historiography in the Netherlands, particularly in the field of study of the Second World War. In addition, he has played a major role in bridging the traditional gap between academia and journalism through his television work, starting with his historical work. With high-profile programs such as Andere Tijden (Different Times) and De Oorlog (The War) he managed to reach a wide audience, whilst maintaining a critical scientific attitude. Van Liempt has also contributed to the development of serious critical journalism in the Netherlands (NOS Laat/ NOVA) and the reflection thereon, in the form of, among other things, historical media publications.
Honorary supervisor is Frank van Vree, UvA professor of Journalism and Culture.
Nadia Rosenthal is an expert in the field of regeneration of the heart and skeletal muscles. Her research is concerned with molecular genetics, developmental biology and regenerative medicine, and exhibits an unparalleled depth and creativity. She has, for example, laid the foundation for our understanding of aging and regeneration (the therapeutic restoration of affected tissues and organs). Rosenthal focuses in particular on the development of the heart, aging mechanisms, and (heart) muscular tissue recovery using stem cells. Over the past twenty years, she has demonstrated unique leadership skills in both scientific and organisational capacities in the United States, Europe and Australia. Rosenthal was educated at Harvard by Nobel Prize winner Walter Gilbert. While at Harvard Medical School, she was a member of the research team that discovered the insulin gene. In 2001, she became head of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo (Rome). She has since built this into an internationally leading institute in the field of intracellular signalling mechanisms. These mechanisms play an important role in the development of therapies (gene and stem cell therapy) for restoration of muscles in cases of aging or diseases such as muscular dystrophy and heart failure. Rosenthal is also professor of Cardiovascular Science at Imperial College London, where heart and lung diseases are treated with advanced therapeutic strategies. She recently founded an institute for regenerative medicine in Melbourne, as an affiliated institute of the EMBL in Europe.
Honorary supervisor is Antoon Moorman, UvA professor of Embryology and Molecular Biology of Cardiovascular Disease at the Academic Medical Center (AMC-UvA).