Wouter Hooghiemstra

Portrait Wouter Hooghiemstra | OMIG

What is your name?    

Wouter Hooghiemstra

Where were you born?      

Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

What kind of studies do you work on? 

My primary research subject is the development of new fluorescent tracers. Currently I’m developing a tracer targeting PD-L1, to predict therapy response to checkpoint inhibition therapy.

Besides that, I also work on two clinical studies, namely the ESCEND study, in which we look at the detection of (pre-)malignant lesions of esophageal adenocarcinoma using topically administered bevacizumab-800CW, and the TRACT-II study, in which we look at the detection of rectum tumors using cetuximab-800CW in patients who underwent neoadjuvant chemo-radiotherapy.

Why did you want to do research/work in this field?     

I started at the OMIG as an intern, working on a very small part of the development of tracers. I thought the development of new tracers was a fun thing to do, as my interests lie in the area of compounding and manufacturing. But when I also met the rest of the OMIG and saw the tracers used in patients, I got really interested in the complete process from the development of a new tracer to the clinical use. After hearing about all the clinical studies, I really thought that these tracers can add something to the clinical practice and be of real benefit for future patients.

What is your background/did you study?   

I am a pharmacist and studied Pharmacy at the university of Groningen.

What relevant experiences did you gain during your study?

During my study I gained a lot of lab experience, from very fundamental experiments to animal testing. These lab skills come in very handy during my time in the lab developing tracers.

I also followed a course on GMP, which I can put to good use in getting the tracers ready for clinical use.

And because I am trained to be a pharmacist, I also learned to always keep the patient in mind and to focus on how this research can be of benefit to the clinical practice.

What do you like to do when you are not working?    

I like to do sports, playing basketball, workout in the gym or go running. Furthermore I like music, listen to a good vinyl record or play the guitar myself, or read a book. When the weather is good I like to go walking with my wife, walk around and enjoy nature or walk around the city looking for good spots to get coffee and pie. I also love good food, cooking with my wife and once in a while I get together with my study-friends where we all prepare a course for diner.