Sanne Gijzel is a PhD student who applies dynamical systems theory to human health in order to become able to better understand and quantify human systemic resilience. By learning from novel insights in analysing resilience and critical transitions of different complex systems, she aims to identify critical transitions, tipping points and early warning signals in human health. This is especially interesting in elderly people, where the condition of vulnerability to adverse health outcomes known as ‘frailty’ provides ample starting points to study systemic resilience. Through the analysis of time series data from collaborations and new data collections in elderly people, she hopes to become able to anticipate loss of resilience in humans during ageing. This may offer new opportunities for the understanding, treatment and prevention of health transitions in elderly people.
Sanne is a medical doctor with a passion for interdisciplinary research that can bridge the gap between scientific theory and the clinical practice. During her PhD project, she is being supervised by Prof. Dr. Marcel Olde Rikkert (doctor in geriatric medicine, Radboudumc Nijmegen) and Prof. Dr. Marten Scheffer. This unique collaboration provides fruitful opportunities for the exploration of resilience and critical transitions in the context of human health and ageing.