From the Chair

Dear Matrix Fans,


Time for the first newsletter of 2017!

Looking back on last year, we had an excellent Annual Meeting in spring and a joined symposium in December on techniques with the Dutch Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (NBTE), embedded in their annual meeting. This joined symposium was a smashing success, as was the poster session in which also a large number of NVMB members presented their research. Walking around, I heard many PhD students discussing enthusiastically, while making appointments to further collaborate or exchange knowledge. The board of the NBTE was enthusiastic too and would like to participate in some way or another during our Annual Meeting May 11th and 12th.


Interestingly, a substantial number of lectures at the NBTE meeting were focused on extracellular matrix biology, while these speakers are not associated with the NVMB. As a board, we are concerned with the gradual loss of members, which is due to a combination of factors.

In contrast to the sister societies in Europe, members of our Dutch society (NVMB) are primarily ‘junior’ scientist, i.e. PhD students. The strongly reduced funding in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine field, contributes to render us rather vulnerable to loss of members. In addition, we need to find ways to broaden the scope, because by many non-members we are considered as a ‘bone and cartilage society’. Our efforts to attract new members beyond bone and cartilage biology will include directly contacting group leaders in other fields, and organizing themed symposia and joined symposia with associated societies.


Taken together, we are working to broaden the scope and appreciate all suggestions from your site (please mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We will also discuss with you in what way we can model the collaboration with the NBTE during our Annual Meeting in May.


On behalf of the entire board of NVMB, I wish you a prosperous and healthy 2017, with exciting discoveries in the broadest sense of Matrix Biology.

Marco Harmsen, Chair

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We would like to mention that as NVMB we are member of the FEDERA (federation of biomedical societies in the Netherlands) which organizes the so-called “FEDERA dag” annually. Last year’s theme was ‘Healthy Science: increasing value, reducing waste’. Lectures were given by elusive scientists, ethicists and philosophers, which created a perfect mindset. The board of FEDERA (including yours truly) is preparing a position paper to be submitted to the BMJ. We are proud that NVMB board member dr. Marjolein Blaauboer gave a lecture during the FEDERA dag on PostDoc carreer development on behalf of PostdocNL.

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Annual Meeting

With respect to this year’s Annual Meeting, taking place in Lunteren, May 11th and 12th, it is our pleasure to announce the confirmation of a keynote lecture from the following scientists:

    • Arnoud Sonnenberg (NKI Amsterdam)
    • Ruud Bank (UMC Groningen)
    • Carlijn Bouten (TU Eindhoven)
    • Liliana Schaefer (Chair German Society for Matrix Biology)

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Wanted: Board members

If you are interested in becoming a Board member of the NVMB please let us know (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). During the Annual Meeting all members of the NVMB will have the possibility to vote to fill in the upcoming vacancies in the Board.

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