I was born in The Hague in The Netherlands and educated at the University of Leiden. During my medical education I followed electives in Indonesia, Toronto and Cambridge. I was trained as a surgeon at Leiden University Medical Centre. During my research fellowship in Madison at the University of Wisconsin with Dr. F.O. Belzer in 1986-1988 I became interested in organ donation, ischaemia and reperfusion injury and preservation in transplantation. I was involved in the experimental studies and clinical introduction of the UW solution and received my PhD cum laude at the University of Leiden in 1991.
After my clinical ASTS fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics from 1991-1993, I was appointed Consultant Surgeon at the University Medical Centre Groningen in The Netherlands and became Professor of Surgery in 2001. In 2002 I was appointed Head of the Divisions of Abdominal Surgery and Transplant Surgery & Organ Donation in Groningen. My professional activities include a broad array of responsibilities both nationally and internationally, such as Board Memberships of Eurotransplant, the Dutch Transplantation Foundation, Associate Editorship for the American Journal of Transplantation and Advisorship to NHSBT in the UK. I also served the European Society for Organ Transplantation as Secretary and was elected President of ESOT in 2009.
In June 2011 I was appointed as Chair in Transplant Biology and Director of Clinical & Translational Research in the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Oxford. Apart form my research activities I am a Consultant Transplant Surgeon in the Oxford Transplant Centre. I am currently focusing on two consortia: the Consortium on Organ Preservation In Europe (COPE) and on the Consortium on Quality in Organ Donation (QUOD) in the UK.