Renske van Gestel

Associate Professor Pharmaceutical Sciences

Renske van Gestel (foto: Robert Oosterbroek)

I mainly focus on teaching. I've been here at Utrecht University since I was a student and I do love the ambitious spirit on campus, the atmosphere, the city.


It feels good to prepare students for real challenges

The courses I teach combine fundamental research with real-world relevance. I give one course on combating the trade of illicit medicines and medical devices on the internet and another on ensuring safe patient care throughout the pharmaceutical care chain. It feels good to prepare students for real challenges.

Our facilities make it easy for me to ensure that everything we do has a practical application. We have in-house pharmacies where can train students for the work they'll be doing one day, our labs are state-of-the-art, and we have access to 3D-printers which allow us to actually print pills.

Every day I work with loads of different people and I learn a lot from them all

I couldn’t do my job without my colleagues … Teaching is all about teamwork. Students learn so much more when their teachers work together, collaborate on cutting-edge research projects together, and have fun together.

When I talk about collaboration, I don’t just mean within the Pharmacy department. At Utrecht University, we have a huge, ambitious program. In fact, we’re currently setting up a new interdisciplinary bachelor program in collaboration with the faculties of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Every day I work with loads of different people and I learn a lot from them all.

I like to try new things. Like when I asked my students to prepare my slides for my students, which I then lectured on the spot. I didn’t know what to expect…it was a little scary but very exciting too. I wanted them to see first-hand the importance of interaction and adaptation. To realize that, in life and in work, you have to react to whatever the world throws at you and simply make the best of it.

Every day I'm in the classroom I see myself as a fundamental connection

I feel like every one of my colleagues in the Pharmacy department is a fundamental connection. It’s a very openminded department and we all know that we can make a difference. Sitting on the Curriculum Committee really hammered this home to me. Me and my colleagues come from different disciplines and often hold different views, but we all pulled together to achieve our common goal of making a new Pharmacy curriculum. I'm really proud of the curriculum we created.

Every day I'm in the classroom I see myself as a fundamental connection. Not only when it comes to science, but also life skills, personal development ... Sometimes you get a student who really doesn’t understand the stuff you're trying to teach them. But then, as you guide them step-by-step and encourage them to make mistakes, you can see a little light in their brain starting to flicker. And then one day they just get it! For me that’s the most rewarding part of the job. It's hard to describe how good it feels…


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