Eric Sijbrands is full professor of vascular medicine at the Erasmus MC, the university hospital, in Rotterdam. After obtaining his qualification as medical doctor in 1990, he was given the opportunity to receive his training in internal medicine and to work in scientific research at the universities of Leiden and Amsterdam. He made a Ph.D. thesis on gene-gene and gene-environment interaction in patients with genetic hyperlipidaemia (2000). He was one of the founding fathers of the Dutch national molecular diagnostics program for familial hypercholesterolemia and tested the clinical value of this worldwide first and largest population-based genetic diagnostic screening program. His work improved the insurability of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia globally: identified and on statins they now pay regular premiums. Sijbrands published the first articles about a reversed parent-offspring approach. After that, this method has been frequently used, as it avoids a number of biases and links intermediate traits to hard end-points with sufficient power in relatively small studies. His research contributed substantially to three recent paradigm shifts: the complications of most Mendelian disorders have complex aetiology, type 2 diabetes is a beta-cell disorder, and his improved method of mimicking trials in prospective follow-up yields identical risk estimates as randomized clinical trials.
He is specialized in setting up databases and biobanks of deep phenotyped cohorts with specific properties that strongly enhance translational research. In 2006, Sijbrands was visiting professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and in 2013-2014 he was Raine Foundation professor at the University of Western Australia (UWA). He was the Chairman of the Dutch Lipoprotein Club 2002-2012 (NLC). Currently, he is the Chairman of the Ph.D. training courses of the Dutch Heart Foundation (Harstichting) and associate editor of Atherosclerosis. Based on his broad orientation in clinical work as well as in scientific research (animal work, case-control and cohort studies, and clinical trials) he has been invited as member of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) advisory group of the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centers (NFU).
In his current role, coaching of young talent is a major part of his scientific assignment (EUR lectures for kids). His research group is active in the fields of genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. The findings of these research lines are published in the top peer reviewed scientific journals (Publications). His H-index is 62. Technical innovations like novel imaging modalities, high-throughput molecular analyses and eHealth (DiabetesStation and ETNO) are developed and validated and subsequently implemented to personalize and improve healthcare.