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Dr R. Balm (1960) has been appointed professor of Surgery, with a special focus on vascular surgery, at the University of Amsterdam's Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA).

Prof Rob Balm
Photo: Dirk Gillissen

In his research, Ron Balm focuses on the treatment of patients suffering from an aortic aneurysm. His aim is to reduce fatalities resulting from this condition by critically reviewing the indications for surgery, and to optimise surgical techniques. Working from the AMC-UvA in collaboration with VUmc, LUMC, OLVG and the regional hospitals, he will launch a programme that will step up the amount of research being conducted into asymptomatic aneurysms, ruptured acute aneurysms and the underlying causes of the formation and growth of aneurysms. This programme will include the results of a randomised study in the Amsterdam region – the AJAX trial – which investigated the treatment of ruptured aneurysms. The regional partnerships between AMC-UvA, VUmc, OLVG and the regional hospitals played a key role in the success of this study. Collaboration with other centres for vascular surgery will also contribute significantly to future studies. Balm's other focus areas include complex academic vascular surgery, research on vascular surgery in a general sense, and education.

Balm completed his PhD at Utrecht University. He trained as a surgeon in Utrecht and 's-Hertogenbosch, and specialised in vascular surgery at UMC Utrecht. Balm has been working as a vascular surgeon at AMC since 1996, where he has been head of vascular surgery since 2013. He is also head of the vascular surgery training programme at AMC-UvA, and vice-chair of the Netherlands Vascular Surgery Association (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Vaatchirurgie). He is a council member and examiner of the European Board of Vascular Surgery, as well as a member of the vascular surgery education committee of the Netherlands Vascular Surgery Association.