Prof. Dr. Bert Hofman, former head of the Epidemiology department of Erasmus MC, received the royal decoration on July 26th for his induction as a Knight of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands. Hofman, currently a professor at Harvard University, was awarded the honor by Dutch Ambassador André Haspels at a surprise ceremony in Boston. The Order of the Lion of the Netherlands is awarded for exceptional service to the community. It is the oldest and highest civilian order of chivalry in the Netherlands.


International example: ERGO and Generation R

Professor Hofman is one of the most cited scientists in the Netherlands and is the initiator of two large cohort studies that serve as international examples, namely the “Rotterdam Study” ERGO and Generation R. Results from these still ongoing studies provide new general insights into the development of disease, health, lifestyle, and prevention of illness. Additionally, the studies lead to scientific publications and national and international media attention that highlights the medical innovation taking place in the Netherlands

NIHES and Erasmus Summer Program

Furthermore Hofman is initiator of the Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences (NIHES) and the Erasmus Summer Program. The program brings students, researchers and employees in health care and public health together in an international setting. The Erasmus Summer Program is now world renowned.

Service to society

Professor Hofman sits on various committees including ZonMw, the Health Council of the Netherlands and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as medical review committees, and editorial boards of scientific journals. As Editor in Chief of the European Journal of Epidemiology, Professor Hofman makes important contributions to the gathering and dissemination of knowledge about public health, disease and health care.

His colleagues at Erasmus MC state: “Hofman is an absolute top researcher, a top lecturer, both at world level. Hofman is one of the greatest scientists in the Netherlands. This is partly illustrated by a number of key figures on scientific publications. In July 2018, he had an H-factor of 197, the highest of all scientists in the Netherlands. In doing so, he now has over 3,100 publications and more than 175,000 citations. In his career, he was involved in 107 PhDs. He is a visionary, a driven and inspired leader.”

Today, Professor Hofman serves as Professor of Public Health and Clinical Epidemiology and Department Head of Epidemiology at the Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and is still affiliated with the Department of Epidemiology at Erasmus MC.


(Text by: Erasmus MC)