Marian Joëls new dean of medicine

The Faculty of Medical Sciences will have a new dean on 1 September. Marian Joëls, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Utrecht, will succeed Folkert Kuipers, who has held the chair of Healthy Life Alliances since April.

In addition to her job, Joëls will also join the Board of Directors at UMCG. ‘I was open to one more big change in my career’, Joëls says of her appointment. ‘This job was exactly the challenge I was looking for.’

Joëls was a professor of zoology at the University of Amsterdam and was named professor of neurosciences at the University of Utrecht in 2009. She is currently responsible for all research and education related to the brain. In addition, she served on the boards of NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) and the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), and she is active on a European level. Joëls also has extensive experience as an administrator, and is looking forward to leading the medical faculty: ‘I will catch up on everything first and spend a lot of time listening. Administration is not a solo job, so I want to hear from people what’s going on. That will automatically generate ideas.’

Inspiring young women

One of the reasons she has taken the job is to be able to inspire young women. She is the first female dean of the medical faculty. ‘I didn’t look it up, but I don’t know any other female deans of medical schools’, Joëls says. ‘And what I noticed in other jobs is that young women need role models. So that certainly played a role in my decision.’

The fact that she will have to live in an unfamiliar city a few days a week because of her job does not faze the neuroscientist: ‘I’ve heard many positive stories about Groningen from people who study or work here. I’m sure I’ll find out for myself how great this city is.’