prof.dr. D.W. Donker MD (Dirk)

Full Professor

About Me

In March 2021, I was appointed on the chair of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology (CRPH) at the faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Twente.

The chair is specifically intended to stimulate translational research and education. This, in order to allow patients and health care professionals to maximally benefit from the latest ingenious technologies integrated into modern clinical practice. In this sense, I consider my academic-clinical ambitions equally important as my dedication to professional education in technical medicine, biomedical technology and medicine.

I am indebted for the opportunity to combine my professorship with a position as a senior staff member and intensivist-cardiologist in the Intensive Care Centre at the University Medical Centre Utrecht.

The care for patients with acute and life-threatening disease remains complex and challenging. My experience from daily critical care underlines my enduring personal aspiration to advance technological innovation and improve clinical practice.  

After attending medical school in Essen, Germany, I received my PhD thesis entitled ‘Cardiac mechanomyopathy - integrating the picture from cell to beating heart’ from Maastricht University in 2008. Meanwhile, I completed my medical specialization in Cardiology followed by Intensive Care training at the Maastricht University Medical Center. In 2013, I joined the staff of the Intensive Care Centre at the University Medical Centre Utrecht and in 2019, I expanded my academic-clinical experience in Cardiological Critical Care at the La Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris.

My clinical, educational and research interests center around complex cardiovascular and respiratory care. In recent years, I focused on cardiac and pulmonary extracorporeal life support to optimize its clinical use and expand practice-relevant mechanistic insights. My affinity with echocardiography and an inspiring collaboration on patient-specific computer simulation through the years has greatly enlarged my comprehensive physiological understanding and contributes importantly to my work as a physician.

I am actively involved in national and international scientific organizations in the field, collaborate with many dedicated clinicians, researchers and companies, authored many scientific publications and provided numerous presentations. All this, to foster professionals’ enthusiasm and strive to realize a continuing translation of technology, where it is most urgently needed: at the bedside of the individual patient.


Medicine & Life Sciences
Cardiogenic Shock
Computer Simulation
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
Heart-Assist Devices
Intensive Care Units


Oppersma, E., Geraats, S., Heikens, N. H., Welleweerd, A., Woerts, C. A. , Fresiello, L., Meuwese, C. L. , & Donker, D. W. (2022). Finite Element Modeling of Pulmonary Mechanics in Severe ARDS: Explaining the Inclination Angle? American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine. https://doi.org/10.1164/rccm.202205-0931LE
Raasveld, S. J., Karami, M., van den Bergh, W. M., Oude Lansink-Hartgring, A., van der Velde, F., Maas, J. J., van de Berg, P., de Haan, M., Lorusso, R., Delnoij, T. S. R., Dos Reis Miranda, D., Mandigers, L., Scholten, E., Overmars, M., Taccone, F. S., Brasseur, A., Dauwe, D. F., de Troy, E., Hermans, G., ... Vlaar, A. P. J. (2022). RBC Transfusion in Venovenous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: A Multicenter Cohort Study. Critical care medicine, 50(2), 224-234. https://doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0000000000005398
van der Wal, P. S., Kraaijeveld, A. O., van der Heijden, J. J., van Laake, L. W., Platenkamp, M., de Heer, L. M., Braithwaite, S. A., van Eijk, M. M. J., Hermens, J. A. J., Cremer, O. L. , Donker, D. W., & Meuwese, C. L. (2022). Initiation of veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) for cardiogenic shock during out of hours versus working hours is not associated with increased mortality. International journal of artificial organs, 45(3), 301-308. https://doi.org/10.1177/03913988211073344
Donker, D. W., Burkhoff, D., & Mack, M. J. (2022). ECMO: We Need to Vent About the Need to Vent! Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 79(13), 1251-1253. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2022.01.034
Pappalardo, F., Potapov, E., Loforte, A., Morshuis, M., Schibilsky, D., Zimpfer, D., Riebandt, J., Etz, C., Attisani, M., Rinaldi, M., Haneya, A., Ramjankhan, F. , Donker, D., Jorde, U. P., Lewin, D., Wieloch, R., Ayala, R., Cremer, J., Bertoldi, L., ... Saeed, D. (2022). Left ventricular assist device implants in patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: Do we need cardiopulmonary bypass? Interactive cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, 34(4), 676-682. https://doi.org/10.1093/icvts/ivab311
Montero, S., Abrams, D., Ammirati, E., Huang, F. , Donker, D. W., Hekimian, G., García-García, C., Bayes-Genis, A., Combes, A., & Schmidt, M. (2022). Fulminant myocarditis in adults: A narrative review. Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, 19(2), 137-151. https://doi.org/10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2022.02.006

UT Research Information System

Courses Academic Year  2022/2023

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses Academic Year  2021/2022

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands