Leo Heunks is professor of intensive care medicine at the VU
University Medical Center Amsterdam (Amsterdam, the
Netherlands). He received his undergraduate training and MD at
the Radboud University (Nijmegen, the Netherlands). From
1996 to 2000, he was a PhD student in respiratory physiology.
During the PhD programme he visited the Mayo Clinic
(Rochester, MN, USA) for 7 months to study skeletal muscle
single fibre mechanics and intracellular calcium imaging (with
mentor Gary Sieck). He trained as a pulmonologist at the
Radboud University Medical Center from 2000 to 2006, followed
by a 2-year fellowship in intensive care medicine, and became
consultant in intensive care at the same hospital. He was
co-founder of the first specialised ventilator-weaning unit in the
Netherlands and chair of the Dutch guideline for difficult
weaning. In 2016, he moved to the VU University Medical
Center Amsterdam, Dept of Intensive Care.
His research interests include effects of critical illness on
respiratory muscle function, mechanical ventilation, weaning
from the ventilator and ARDS. He has spent research fellowships
at Loyola University Medical Center (Chicago, IL, USA) and St
Michael’s Hospital, Toronto (ON, Canada). In both clinical
work and research, he promotes the understanding of
physiological principles. Only when we are willing to understand
the underlying physiology can we conduct meaningful research
and optimal patient care.
Currently, Leo Heunks is secretary of European Respiratory
Society assembly 2 (respiratory intensive care).
Copyright ©ERS 2016. Print ISBN: 978-1-84984-073-6. Online ISBN: 978-1-84984-074-3. Print ISSN: 2312-508X. Online ISSN: 2312-5098.
ERS Monogr 2016; 74: vii–ix. DOI: 10.1183/2312508X.10018216 vii