Work Packages

The research in WOMB has been divided into three scientific workpackages, a workpackage for dissemination, a workpackage for the development of young talent and a management workpackage.

  1. Quantification of the effect of a lifestyle intervention (of increased physical exercise combined with improved diet) before and during pregnancy on women’s cardiovascular health (WP1);
  2. Examination of the effect of a lifestyle intervention before and during pregnancy on the cardiovascular health, growth and development of the offspring (WP2);
  3. Determination of the dose-response relationship between lifestyle during pregnancy and maternal and offspring cardiovascular health across the lifespan (WP3);
  4. Dissemination (WP4);
  5. Young talent development programme (WP5);
  6. Management (WP6).

WP 1

Workpackage 1 examines effects of the preconception lifestyle intervention on women’s cardiovascular health. This workpackage is led by professor Ronald Stolk and doctor Henk Groen from UMCG. The PhD students working on workpackage 1 are Lotte van Dammen (UMCG) and Vincent Wekker (AMC).

WP 2

Workpackage 2 examines the effects of the preconception lifestyle intervention on offspring’s health. This workpackage is led by professor Reinoud Gemke from VUmc. The PhD students working on workpackage 2 are Stijn Mintjens (VUmc) and Malou Menting (AMC).

WP 3

Workpackage 3 examines the dose response relationships between women’s preconception lifestyle and their own and their offspring’s cardiovascular health. This workpackage is led by doctor Mireille van Poppel from VUmc. The PhD students working on this workpackage are Tessa van Elten (VUmc) and Matty Karsten (UMCG).

WP 4

Workpackage 4 is concerned with dissemination. This workpackage is led by professor Ben Willem Mol (AMC and director of the Global Obstetrics Network). The dissemination of the scientific results to women before pregnancy as well as health care professionals and policy makers is essential to reach our goal: preventing CVD in two generations through lifestyle interventions before and during pregnancy. Pregnancy seems an ideal window of opportunity to optimise lifestyle as women are optimally motivated to change their lifestyle for the benefit of their offspring’s health. As the results of the study become available they will be shared with the target audience through social media, while the Dutch Society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology will be our Dutch channel to health care providers in the Netherlands, the Global Obstetrics Network will help target the health care providers worldwide.

WP 5

Workpackage 5 is the young talent development programme. This workpackage is led by dr Annemieke Hoek from UMCG. The WOMB Young Talent Development programme will provide the young investigators within WOMB a true head-start in research and optimally prepares them to qualify for tenure track and becoming the future leaders of research in this field.

All junior researchers working on the WOMB project will get the opportunity to optimally develop their talents and benefit from the translational and international aspect of this project. Each PhD student gets the opportunity to work abroad, with the dual purpose of explicit training in translational research, promoting the transfer of excellence to the next generation of group leaders, and of providing them with international visibility and networking opportunities from the very early stages of their careers.

In addition to the research training required to qualify for a PhD degree, we have put together a training program that aims at systematic acquisition of skills necessary to promote career in academia and optimize their abilities to communicate with patients, the general public, and journalists. The training includes outreach skills, project related skills and career skills (such as creative thinking, and academic leadership).

WP 6

Workpackage 6 is the coordination and management of the WOMB project. This workpackage is led by professor Tessa Roseboom (AMC). She is supported with the day-to-day management of the project by coordinating postdoc dr Cornelieke van de Beek (AMC), who also supervises the AMC PhD students, together with dr Rebecca Painter (AMC). Paul Bessems (Descin) handles the WOMB administration.


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