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15th Young Investigators Symposium-"Mind, Body, Lungs"

Are you a young researcher, including PhD students and post-docs, or a trainee physician specializing in lung disease research in the Netherlands? Join the NRS Young Investigator Symposium 2023! This symposium provides a platform to expand your network within the Netherlands, enhance your presentation skills, engage in data discussions, and gain inspiration from seminars conducted by prominent national and international keynote speakers in the field of pulmonology. Discover more about the program and the optional abstract submission process below.


The YIS 2023 “Mind, Body and Lungs” will be a whole day programme. see full programme

In the morning, we will have inspiring lectures from two invited keynote speakers,

"Non-Digestible Oligosaccharides: A Novel Treatment for Respiratory Infections?" by Dr. Saskia Braber

"The Nose: where Mind, Body and Lungs meet" by Dr. Simon Jochems.

In the afternoon, attendees can engage in an interactive workshop centered around Mindfulness and Zen, led by Ramon Roelofs. Alternatively, they may participate in a Masterclass, which offers personalized feedback to enhance presentation and communication skills. Masterclasses will be in small groups chaired by a senior in the field and NRS Young Investigator Board member. It's important to note that participants in the early stages of their careers are strongly advised to take part in the masterclass, as it provides tailored insights and benefits for their professional growth. Participants in the Masterclass are required to submit an abstract.

The "NRS Masterclass Award" will be given to the young investigator who gave the best presentation in the Masterclass; the awardee will recieve a prize of € 500,-


Dr. Saskia Braber: Respiratory diseases have been a focus throughout my career, especially during my PhD at the Pharmacology group of the Utrecht University, where I tried to unravel the mechanisms underlying cigarette smoke-induced lung emphysema and find solutions to tackle the sustained airway inflammation. My interest in the immunomodulatory capacity of nutritional components started during my post doc period where I focused on the immunomodulatory properties of oligosaccharides in the gastro-intestinal and respiratory tract (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University). It fascinated me that specific nutritional components, are by no means inferior to medical treatment. After NWO-CCC awarded our grant proposal, entitled “Improving lung health by carbohydrate-directed changes in intestinal microbiota in calves” (in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research), I returned to the Pharmacology group of the Utrecht University where I started to develop my own research group. My current research line is aimed at investigating how beneficial nutrition and/or pharmacological active compounds can strengthen the essential mucosal barrier and immune function using different in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models. Multifactorial diseases, may require a multi-target approach related to their complexity and involvement of multiple signaling pathways. Therefore, I think that successful concepts to treat, prevent, or delay these diseases could result in finding optimal combinations of medicines and nutritional components (pharma-nutrition) to increase efficacy and reduce adverse effects.

Dr. Simon Jochems: Simon Jochems studied biomedical sciences at Utrecht University, followed by a PhD in virology at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. During his postdoc in the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, he developed assays to study nasal immune responses in the setting of controlled human bacterial and viral infections. In 2019, he moved to LUMC where the research of his team focuses on studying immune responses to infection and vaccination in tissues, collected using minimally-invasive sampling methods.

WORKSHOP- Zen and Mindfulness

Join this workshop led by Ramon Roelofs, also known as DJ Charly Lownoise, for an immersive experience in the art of embracing the present moment. The workshop commences with a guided meditation to set the tone and concludes with a serene silent meditation, allowing participants to directly experience the profound impact of this deceptively simple yet transformative practice.

Within the workshop's narrative, Ramon will share his life journey, starting from the discovery of his passion at the young age of 13. He will delve into the obstacles he confronted and the critical decisions he made along the way. Moreover, he sheds light on the influential mentors who emerged as beacons of guidance during challenging periods. This workshop offers a unique blend of mindfulness, personal storytelling, and inspiration, creating an engaging and enlightening experience for all participants.

Ramon Roelofs: I'm Ramon Roelofs, also known as DJ Charly Lownoise. In the '90s, DJ Mental Theo and I achieved success with multiple top 40 hits as a dance duo, including a memorable performance at the Love Parade in Berlin for 180,000 people. However, the pressures of fame took a toll, leading to a collapse during a show and the loss of my stepfather. These events spurred a journey of self-discovery and a commitment to living from the heart.

Guided by mentors, I explored the power of meditation, yoga, symbolism, and self-inquiry. In 2009, I pursued Zen teaching to integrate these lessons into my life. This path revealed my gift for inspiring and helping others, leading me to offer one-on-one coaching and inspiration sessions. I help people recognize their true passions and break free from limiting patterns.

I also organize retreats, speak at seminars, teach Zen meditation, create podcasts, and write books. In "Zen Lessons in a Noisy World," published in spring 2020, I share inspiring stories of individuals who've walked heroic paths.

My style is heart-centered, drawn from personal experience, and delivered with humor and simplicity.

see Ramon's full biography (in dutch)


  • Maxiumum 300 words
  • 1 figure/table (optional)
  • Deadline: 16 October 2023

If you do not have any results from your study yet, simply provide an abstract that covers the background, hypothesis, and methods of your study. Preliminary data are also welcome. All abstracts will be accepted, you will not receive a confirmation of acceptance. Upon arrival and registration, you will receive an overview of the participants in each masterclass.

A TV screen will be available to project your PowerPoint slides during the Masterclass. Each participant will have 5 minutes to explain their study, followed by a short discussion (5-10 minutes). The presentation should be limited to a 5 slides and  structured as follows: introduction, results (maximum 3 figures, 1 figure per slide), and discussion. If you do not have any results from your study yet, simply present the background, hypothesis, and methods of your study.

Be aware that joining the masterclass you automatically compete for the Masterclass award of 500 euros! You will be judged on your presentation (layout and structure) as well as presentation and discussion skills.

Registration is free for NRS members.

Non-member fee: €100,-


Registration and abstraction submission portals open from 21-08-23 to 16-10-23. deadline extended to 23-10-23.