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The University of Southampton

Dr Bas Van Rijn  MD, PhD

Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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Dr Bas Van Rijn is Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

Bas van Rijn completed his undergraduate training in Medicine at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, and subsequently obtained his MD in 2002. During his studies he conducted research on the role of oxidative stress in severe pre-eclampsia in Utrecht and at St Thomas’ Hospital, Kings College London. He was awarded an Erasmus/Socrates Scholarship of the European Union (2000) and the Talma Eykman Award for Scientific Excellence (2001) by Utrecht University for his work on detection of placental and circulating free radicals by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spin-trapping with at the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy of Utrecht University. In 2003 he obtained a Clinical Research/Ph.D. Scholarship by The Netherlands Organization for Health Research for research on maternal constitutional factors underlying pregnancy outcome and cardiovascular health and was awarded his PhD in 2008. After a further 3 years of clinical training at the University Medical Centre Utrecht and St Antonius Hospital Nieuwegein, both in The Netherlands, he moved to Southampton in and currently holds a position as Clinical Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (as per October 2012). His research includes clinical studies on the interplay between cardiovascular health, placental development and maternal-fetal outcome, as well as translational studies on the impact of maternal health on fetal cardiovascular development and epigenetics.


MD, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
PhD, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Appointments held

PhD research fellow, Department of Obstetrics, UMC Medical Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands (2003-2004)

Specialist Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St Elisabeth Hospital, Tilburg, The Netherlands (2005)

PhD research fellow, UMC Medical Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands (2006)

Specialist Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UMC Medical Centre, The Netherlands (2007-2009)

Senior Specialist Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands (2009-2012)

Research fellow, UMC Medical Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2009-present

Research interests

Pregnancy as a window of opportunity for early-life prevention of cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular health concerns us all, simply because cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the number 1 cause of death in both men and women globally.

In recent years, health during the reproductive life cycle is increasingly recognized as a window of opportunity to prevent early development of vascular changes that lead to later-life CV risk. Several reproductive disorders, including polycystic ovary syndrome, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and placental disorders have the potential to unmask underlying CV risk in young women.

Maternal health, pregnancy outcome and long-term cardiovascular risk

Recently, we and others identified several important risk factors for CVD in women that experience common complications of pregnancy (e.g. pre-eclampsia, placental abruption and fetal growth restriction). This has led to changes in follow-up of pregnant women after delivery, development of a national guideline (NL) and public awareness among patient organisations.

Current research is focussed on the link between cardiovascular health and placental development and the fetal origins of cardiovascular disease. This includes research on epigenetic control of placental nutrient transport, placental inflammation in response to overnutrition, epigenetic programming of fetal heart development, ultrasound evaluation of fetal cardiac function during pregnancy in mothers with obesity and diabetes and the study of microRNAs as biomarkers and translational targets in pregnancy-associated cardiovascular complications, which was awarded an Academy for Medical Sciences’ Starter Grant for Clinical Lecturers, supported by the British Heart Foundation, Medical Research Council, Arthritis Research UK, Prostate Cancer UK and the Wellcome Trust.


Human Development and Health

Undergraduate student supervision BMedSci projects, Faculty of Medicine

Representative O&G, Faculty of Medicine Working Party for Development of the New BM5 Curriculum

Course Coordinator, Year 3 O&G Clinical Attachment, Faculty of Medicine

Year 3 Representative for O&G, Faculty of Medicine

Assessment & Exams Committee, BM Year 3 Assessment Group

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Dr Van Rijn is course coordinator for the 3rd year clinical attachment in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and representative for the 3rd year BM programme. Further, he is a lecturer on several courses for the BM4/BM5 programme of the Faculty of Medicine, including the Endocrinology & the Life Cycle course (Year 2) and introductory lectures to the clinical attachments.

Dr Bas Van Rijn
Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Building 85, Life Sciences Building, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO171BJ

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