Dr A.P.J. Vlaar (32) is a postdoctoral researcher for the Laboratory of Experimental Intensive Care and Anaesthesiology at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam. He received the Heineken Young Scientists Award for Medicine 2014 for his research into acute lung injury as a serious side effect of blood transfusions in IC patients.
Alexander Vlaar, a practising physician, received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 2010 for his research into acute lung injury, a potentially fatal side effect of blood transfusions given to intensive care patients. He confirmed that the risk of acute lung injury is increased by the presence of donor antibodies in transfusion products.
Vlaar’s work has helped lower the risk for IC patients. The jury has praised Vlaar’s ability to combine hospital practice and outstanding research. In 2013, he was awarded a Veni Grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
‘I want to improve patient care. Sometimes that means introducing new medical treatments. But sometimes it also means abandoning widely used treatments that the latest research has shown to be ineffective.’