Professor of Nephrology Gorgan Navis Knight has been awarded the Dutch Lion Medal on the occasion of her retirement. The Royal Award was handed to her on Friday 13 May by Mayor Quinn Schuyling. UMCG describes Navis as an excellent researcher in the field of nephrology, lifestyle and nutrition, and a link between science and society.
Navis was appointed by the UMCG from 1985 as a Physician Assistant and in 1993 became an internist and nephrologist in the Department of Internal Medicine. She has been Professor of Experimental Nephrology since 2000 and since 2015 has also held the position of Head of Nutrition in Medicine at the Nutrition and Health Investment Program at the University of Groningen.
Lifestyle as medicine
In particular, Navis emphasized the great preventive importance of lifestyle management in order to prevent deterioration of renal function and complications of kidney damage. The important harmful role of salt in the diet has been a point of particular interest. This has expanded the concept of lifestyle and lifestyle medicine as medicine. Together with several partners from the healthcare sector and the Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health, the strengths of public health that lead to prevention and hospital care were brought together.
This enabled her to translate science into politics and society. It knows “in a creative and continuous way” how to connect, for example, scientists, policy makers and patient associations.
She was the Foundation for Lifestyle Medicine at UMCG. For example, she is one of the innovators of GLIM – the Groningen Lifestyle Intervention Model currently applied at the UMCG and beyond. She was also very important in starting and developing Lifelines. This is a large population group that aims to better understand how people age more healthily; 167,000 residents of North Holland took part in this.
Making scientific knowledge accessible
Gorgan Naves has always invested a lot of time and effort in facilitating access to her scientific knowledge. As an expert, she regularly gives public lectures in the northern provinces to convince the population of the importance of a healthy (dietary) lifestyle. She is also closely involved in the various citizen initiatives in the field of nutrition in Veenkoloniën. In peat colonies, for example, mustard soup was made in a village house to communicate with the inhabitants. In this way it bridges the gap between the highest research and the interests and interests of the population of the region.
In addition to her work at UMCG, Navis has also been Chair of the Scientific Council of the Dutch Kidney Foundation, Vice Chair of the Long-Term Care Committee at ZON-MW and Member of the Health Council. She was the Project Leader for Knowledge Formation and Nutrition in Chronic Diseases (ZON-MW/VWS, 2017) and a member of the National Research Agenda Prevention Task Force.
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