RIVM, The Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) is a governmental research and knowledge institute providing policy support to the Dutch government. In 2011 RIVM employed approximately 1600 persons. RIVM performs tasks to promote both public health, and a healthy and safe living environment. The main tasks of RIVM are: 1) to conduct research; 2) to provide policy support; 3) to perform national coordination; 4) to coordinate intervention programs; 5) to provide information to professionals and the general public. Experts participate in various international networks and are members of many international scientific committees and expert’s panels of the EU. RIVM also carries out activities for other international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and OECD. Moreover, RIVM transfers knowledge specifically aimed at capacity and institution building in for instance pre-accession countries and developing countries.
Main theme of Activity
RIVM’s commissioning bodies consist of ministries (Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation) and various public services such as the inspectorates. RIVM is a recognized centre of expertise in the fields of health, infectious diseases, nutrition and food safety and environment and safety.
Important research realizations
RIVM’s top research comprises 1) Public health status and forecast research; 1) Infectious diseases and epidemiology on influenza, zoonosis, polio and tuberculosis: 3) Risks of nanotechnology; 4) Assessments of toxicity and development of new technologies; 5) Integrated risk assessment; 6) Development of new tools to compare health threats; 7) Nutrition and health; 8) Environment and health; 9) integral assessment of air quality.
RIVM experts publish around 800 scientific publications and reports per year. RIVM has a proven track record regarding the execution of EU funded projects. Currently RIVM participates in 45 FP7 projects. Our researchers are members of more than 200 international experts’ committees of the EU, WHO, OECD and other international organizations and provide scientist advice for policy development. RIVM regularly performs research and provides advice to EU agencies such as EFSA, EEA, ECDC and EMA
Dr Mark W. J. VAN PASSEL, PHD Key Expert
Dr. Mark van Passel is Work Package leader for EU CBRN Centres of Excellence Project 53 “Strengthening the National Legal Framework and Provision of Specialized Training on Biosafety and Biosecurity in Central Asian Countries.” Dr. Van Passel participates in the work packages detailed on equipment needs and biosecurity trainings.
Dr. Mark van Passel (1974) is the responsible project leader for projects on Biosafety and Biosecurity and leader of international projects at the department of Environment of the Centre for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology at the CIb of RIVM. He has coordinated diverse international projects on Biosecurity, e.g. for the Centres of Excellence and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and participated in the FP7 research project “EvoTAR: Evolution and Transfer of Antibiotic Resistance” with 16 European stakeholders (2011-2015), in addition to other national and international projects on Antimicrobial Resistance. He has been awarded several grants and awards from the National BioInformatics Center (NBIC) on horizontal gene transfer (2011) and genome-wide signatures of adaptive evolution in microbes (2012), in addition to innovation grants on Molecular Evolution from the Dutch Scientific Foundation (2008). He has a wide experience as a lecturer and organizer of (inter)national courses and workshops, and has published over 45 scientific papers. At the RIVM, he is part of the Dutch Biosecurity Office, and functions as the Biological Safety Manager for Biological Calamities.
Dr Saskia RUTJES, PHD Non-key Expert
Dr. Saskia Rutjes is a biosecurity and biosafety non-key expert for EU CBRN Centres of Excellence Project 53 “Strengthening the National Legal Framework and Provision of Specialized Training on Biosafety and Biosecurity in Central Asian Countries.” Dr. Rutjes participates in the work packages detailed on equipment needs and biosecurity trainings.
Dr. Saskia Rutjes (1971) is working at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Netherlands since 2003. As a project leader and/or participant she was involved in various national and international projects (FP6 and 7, COST, EU CBRN CoE) in the field of environmental microbiology, biosafety, biosecurity and CBRN response. Projects dealt amongst others with laboratory hygiene in contained use laboratories, food and environmental virology in relation to public health, high-risk pathogenic microorganisms in complex matrices such as environmental samples. Currently, she is project coordinator of CBRN-research projects on preparedness and response in case of CBRN related incidents, and participates in the FP7-EU project GIFT, on the development of an integrated forensic toolbox that can be deployed in case of forensic investigation at CBRN incident scenes. She is work package leader in EU CBRN CoE p44 on the strengthening of CBRN first response in Southeast and Eastern Europe, she was involved in UNICRI 15, dealing with laboratory biosafety and biosecurity and she is working in the Dutch Biosecurity Office that facilitates in the implementation of a Dutch biosecurity regime.