prof. dr. R.L.A.W. Bleys

prof. dr. R.L.A.W. Bleys

Full Professor
prof. dr. R.L.A.W. Bleys
  • Department of Anatomy

Research Programs

Infection & Immunity



Ronald L.A.W. Bleys (1959) graduated as MD in 1986 at Utrecht University. He has been working as an anatomist at the medical faculty of Utrecht University (now: University Medical Center Utrecht) since 1987. In 1995 he received his PhD degree on the thesis “Innervation of the basal cerebral arteries: pathways and densities”. Part of this research had been performed at the department of anatomy of the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London, UK. In 1999 he became registered as medical morphological investigator by the Foundation for Biomedical Scientific Research Training (SMBWO). He became head of department of Anatomy in 2000 and full professor of Clinical Anatomy in 2012.

His recent research work has focused on the interactions between the vascular system and the autonomic nervous system. More specifically, he is investigating the role of the autonomic nervous system in the regulation of inflammatory responses. Furthermore in collaboration with clinicians of especially surgical disciplines he has been participating in clinical anatomical research projects, with special focus on esophageal cancer surgery. 

He is an allround anatomist with an enormous teaching experience, including training of medical residents and specialists. His department has become a centre of excellence for postgraduate anatomical training in the Netherlands and hosts well known international courses. His own specialty is the head and neck region. He is also involved in teaching innovations, one of them being the development and implementation of virtual 3D anatomical models. 

Side Activities

Nederlandse Anatomen Vereniging, president

Medische Arthroscopie en Endoscopie Stichting, president

Member of editorial board of Clinical Anatomy

Stichting Medisch Faculteitsfonds Talma-Eykman, treasurer and secretary

Faculty Club Utrecht University, president

Medische Studenten Faculteitsvereniging Utrecht "Sams", member of supervisory and advisory board

Vereniging Chirurgie voor Medisch Studenten, member of board of recommendation

Fellowship and Awards

Honorary doctorate, Tbilisi State Medical University, Georgia, 2015

Outstanding Teacher Award, Utrecht University, 2013

Medal of honor, Medical University Varna, Bulgaria, 1997

Talma Eykman award for Teacher of the year, Faculty of Medicine, Utrecht University, 1990

Research Output (150)

Challenges During Esophagectomy in Presence of Thoracic Anatomical Anomalies:A Report of Three Cases

Den Boer Robin, Fourie Lana, Weusten Bas, Moons Leon, Bleys Ronald, Cuesta Miguel, Ruurda Jelle, van Hillegersberg Richard Aug 2023, In: Anticancer Research. 43 , p. 3553-3561 9 p.

A novel anatomical description of the esophagus:the supracarinal mesoesophagus

Cuesta Miguel A, van Jaarsveld Romy C, Mingol Fernando, Bleys Ronald L A W, van Hillegersberg Richard, Padules Carmen, Bruna Marcos, Ruurda Jelle P 14 Jun 2023, In: Surgical endoscopy. 37 , p. 6895-6900 6 p.

The apron of the greater omentum of gastric cancer patients contains various lymphoid structures including lymph nodes

Schurink B., Cleypool C. G.J., Brosens L. A.A., Ruurda J. P., Mackaaij Claire, Roeling T. A.P., van Hillegersberg R., Bleys R. L.A.W. Jun 2023, In: Translational Research in Anatomy. 31

The surgical anatomy of a (robot-assisted) minimally invasive transcervical esophagectomy

Filz von Reiterdank I C L J, Defize I L, de Groot E M, Wedel T, Grimminger P P, Egberts J H, Stein H, Ruurda J P, van Hillegersberg R, Bleys R L A W 11 Oct 2022, In: Diseases of the esophagus : official journal of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus. 36

Cochlear implant positioning and fixation using 3D-printed patient specific surgical guides; a cadaveric study

Markodimitraki Laura M, Ten Harkel Timen C, Bleys Ronald L A W, Stegeman Inge, Thomeer Hans G X M Jul 2022, In: PLoS ONE. 17 , p. 1-12

Radiography and Computed Tomography Detection of Intimal and Medial Calcifications in Leg Arteries in Comparison to Histology

Vos Annelotte, Vink Aryan, Kockelkoren Remko, Takx Richard A P, Celeng Csilla, Mali Willem P T M, Isgum Ivana, Bleys Ronald L A W, de Jong Pim A May 2022, In: Journal of Personalized Medicine. 12 , p. 1-7

Identification of the Peri-oral Mimic Muscles on Cadaver Slices and 3 and 7 Tesla MRI Scans

Schutte Hilde, Muradin Marvick S.M., Seubring Karlien, Bleys Ronald L.A.W., Pameijer Frank A., Rosenberg Antoine J.W.P. 15 Feb 2022, In: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open. 10 , p. 1-8

A comparative anatomical and histological study on the presence of an apical splenic nerve in mice and humans

Cleypool Cindy G J, Mackaaij Claire, Verlinde-Schellekens Suzanne A M W, Bleys Ronald L A W Feb 2022, In: Journal of Anatomy. 240 , p. 296-304 9 p.

Are We Facing the End of Gross Anatomy Teaching as We Have Known It for Centuries?

Chang Chan Ana Yoe-Cheng, Stapper Coen P M, Bleys Ronald L A W, van Leeuwen Maarten, Ten Cate Olle 2022, In: Advances in Medical Education and Practice. 13 , p. 1243-1250 8 p.

Computed tomography-based calcium scoring in cadaver leg arteries:Influence of dose, reader, and reconstruction algorithm

de Jong Daan J, van der Star Simone, Bleys Ronald L A W, Schilham Arnold M R, Kuijf Hugo J, de Jong Pim A, Kok Madeleine 1 Dec 2021, In: European Journal of Radiology. 146

All research output

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