Ine Van Hoyweghen

°1976, Belg

Worked at:Department of health, Ethics & Society (HES), Faculty of Health, Medicine & Life Sciences, Maastricht University

Current university: KU Leuven

Title of the project: A sociology of postgenomic solidarity: European life insurance in the era of personalized medicine.

From the jury report:

Dr. van Hoyweghen’s track scientific background, track record and publications show someone who is making a major contribution towards our understanding of the fundamental challenges and changes related to the impact of genomics on our lives, in particular on the social expectations, cultural norms and broader societal values that inform and reproduce patterns of social solidarity and trust. Issues around privacy of genomics information, for example, are generating difficult questions for the law and governance and have been raised as of major import across Europe. Dr van Hoyweghen’s papers have explored these issues through the lens of forms of insurance which acts as a very instructive framework through which boundaries of rights, obligations and risk can be explored. In developing this research agenda, she has been very active internationally and been visiting researcher at various institutes across Europe. She has demonstrated over the past few years her capacity for independent research and establishing her position within international networks as a lead academic in various working groups across Europe, such as the Bio-objects COST Action where she has played a key role in deploying her expertise in genomics and insurance to key questions associated with the governance of science. Her work for the  Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI) to write a chapter for the Council of Europe's Green Paper on "Predictivity, Genetic Testing and Private Insurance indicates the value of her work at an international level.

She has developed these ideas in a number of publications in highly prestigious, internationally competitive journals, such as Social Science and Medicine, andNew Genetics & Society, the first with an exceptionally high impact factor of 2.8. Equally importantly, she has published in top ranking biomedical journals, notably JAMA, The Lancet, and Nature, all three highly demanding in terms of the quality of the paper and its value to clinical science and practice.  In addition, she has been a Principal or Co-Applicant on grant income amounting to about 1.2m euro since completing her thesis and on a ‘rising curve’ in terms of scale and international scope. 

She is exceptionally well-organized and would make an excellent research team leader. She is always not only prepared to listen to colleagues, but to steer ideas in a productive direction. She is also prepared to make difficult decisions about lines of inquiry that might be less fruitful as well as encourage others to develop their own ideas in constructive ways.