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Dr K. Jalink (1957) has been named professor by special appointment of High-Resolution Microscopy at the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Faculty of Science. The chair was established on behalf of the Society for the Promotion of Physics, Medicine and Surgery.

Prof Kees Jalink
Photo: Dirk Gillissen

Kees Jalink researches the functioning of cells at the molecular level. He focuses on the use of innovative light microscopic methods as part of this. A good understanding of the living cell requires a high-resolution study of the tens of thousands of different molecules which interact with each other in a cell, both in terms of time and space. The light microscope is one of the most important instruments for this. Jalink has a long-held fascination with advanced microscopic techniques in particular. He has years of experience with what is known as ‘functional microscopy’, a collective term for a series of ‘light tricks’ through which information can be gleaned from living cells down to the molecular level. High-resolution microscopy is a recent development and an important addition to the range of options available. Jalink develops and uses these techniques for his own research and in various collaborations with fellow researchers in the Netherlands and beyond.

Within his own research, Jalink is interested in how cells communicate with each other, how signals within individual cells are passed on and amplified, and the effects they trigger in cell behaviour. An important part of his work focuses on clarifying the signals and mechanisms which enable malignant cancer cells to separate from a tumour and travel around the body, an essential process in the development of metastatic tumours.     

Jalink has been a staff member and research leader at the department of cell biology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI-AVL) since 1997. He also works for a number of organisations and companies in an advisory role. Jalink was a co-founder of the Van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy (LCAM). He is a founder of the Netherlands BioImaging-Advanced Microscopy initiative (NL-BioImaging-AM), in which he coordinates the Functional Imaging efforts.