Chief Scientific Officer

Rick Grobbee

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Diederick E. (Rick) Grobbee is Chief Scientific Officer at Julius Clinical and a Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht, the Netherlands. His other current role includes Chair of the focus area Circulatory Health at the UMCU.

He is a fellow of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences, and Chair of its Medical Advisory Committee and Medical Section.

He  has been a (principal) investigator in many large-scale epidemiologic studies and randomised intervention trials relating to the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. His experience covers the full range of study designs including trials, cohorts and case-control studies. In addition, he has worked on theoretical principles and methods of diagnostic and prognostic research.

He has been on the editorial boards of several journals and (inter)national scientific, search, and site-visit committees. Current journalistic roles include an editorial board member of the European Journal of Epidemiology, senior consulting editor of the European Heart Journal, advisor to the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, and editor in chief of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. To date, Prof. Grobbee has authored or co-authored more than 1,200 scientific papers, chapters, and books, and has supervised more than 135 PhD fellows. His Hirsch index is 120.

Prof. Grobbee received his MD at the University of Utrecht and, after a residency in internal medicine, obtained a PhD in Epidemiology at Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In 1989, he was a Visiting Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, USA. At Erasmus University, he was founder and director of the Rotterdam Medical Research Foundation and co-principal investigator of the Rotterdam Study. He was appointed full professor of Clinical Epidemiology at Erasmus University in 1993. Subsequently he moved to the University Medical Center Utrecht where he founded the Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care in 1996 ( He holds honorary appointments at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and at the University of Sydney, Australia.

In 2010, he was appointed distinguished University Professor of International Health Sciences and Global Health at Utrecht University.

Prof. Grobbee supervises a comprehensive international MSc course on epidemiology, and runs satellite courses in various Central European countries, Africa, Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He has previously chaired the Netherlands Consensus Conference on Diagnosis and Treatment of Hypertension, was a past president of the Netherlands Society of Epidemiology, and is a member of the Dutch Consensus Committee for Cardiovascular Prevention. In 2012 he initiated Elevate, a platform for credited e-learning in international health sciences (

At the UMCU, Prof. Grobbee directs a large national and international program of research, teaching, and training. The Julius Center conducts research in four defined areas, cardiovascular diseases, cancer in women, infectious diseases and mental health, with a research program comprising studies in over 20 countries with over 900 collaborating centers and clinics. In addition, the Center operates an international core laboratory for vascular imaging.