More than 30 attendees, including Keurs’ former students, collaborators and current colleagues, turned out to the Banff Springs Hotel to present on and discuss the topic of cardiac sarcomere function.
One of the presenters, Dr. Bruno Stuyvers, aptly quipped before his talk, “The best gift we can give Henk is scientific data.” To this effect, scientists from as far as Japan, Italy, Israel and the Netherlands joined their North American colleagues in knowledge-sharing for the day. The result was a broad cross-section of cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology ideas related to excitation-contraction coupling and sarcomere dynamics, pump function of the heart and clinical cardiology.
“It was a true pleasure to listen to the talks and to see that students with whom I once had the privilege to work are now leading scientists and clinicians in their field,” says ter Keurs.
Among his former PhD students are Dr. Peter Backx of the University of Toronto and Dr. Pieter P. de Tombe of Loyola University who fondly recall their PhD years.
“Henk, I remember, was very intimidating in the amount of knowledge he had, but he always delivered that information in the most gentle of ways,” says Backx. “It was a great learning environment.”
Adds de Tombe: “Henk gave us superb scientific training. And much more than that, he instilled this curiosity about how things worked. He has a great enthusiasm for finding things out which is the most satisfying aspect of our work.”
For more, read this press release from the Loyola University Health System titled “Heart Researcher Pays Homage to Mentor”.