Prof Jaap van Dissel is appointed as Director of the RIVM Centre for Infectious Disease Control. He takes up the post on 15 August and succeeds Prof. Roel Coutinho, who reached retirement age in April.

Jaap van Dissel (56) is currently head of the Infectious Diseases department at Leiden University Medical Center, where he is also chair of the Centre for Infectious Diseases and head of the internal medicine education department. As such, he oversees various PhD research projects and will continue to do so for one day a week. He will also continue to see patients at the clinic for immune disorders.

The new director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Control at RIVM is well known in the field. He has been closely involved in dealing with a number of outbreaks and potential outbreaks in recent years.

Prof. van Dissel earned his PhD cum laude in 1987 with a thesis on the immune mechanisms which protect against intracellular bacteria such as salmonella and listeria. Alongside his work in Leiden, he has conducted research at Duke Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.

Jaap van Dissel has supervised over 25 PhD research projects and has been responsible for more than 270 scientific publications, most of which are concerned with infectious diseases. He has also contributed to some 75 books and training modules on the subject.

Jaap van Dissel is currently vice chair of the Medicines Evaluation Board, president of the Society for Infectious Diseases (VIZ) and a member of the General Medical Council of the Netherlands. He intends to relinquish these and several other appointments upon joining RIVM. He will also stand down as a full member of the Health Council of the Netherlands but will continue his association with its Infectious Diseases and Immunity group in an advisory capacity.
Photo: Marc de Haan