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prof. dr. R.L.A.W. (Ronald L.A.W.) Bleys Full Professor

  • Department of Anatomy

R.L.A.W. Bleys


Research Programs


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, board member

    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 (105)

Metastatic incidence of (PET)CT positive lung hilar and retroperitoneal lymph nodes in esophageal cancer patients

Schurink B., Mazza E., Ruurda J. P., Roeling T. A.P., Bleys R. L.A.W., van Hillegersberg R. 1 jun 2020, In: Surgical Oncology. 33 , p. 170-176 7 p.

Effect of bilateral carotid occlusion on cerebral hemodynamics and perivascular innervation:An experimental rat model

Rots M. L., de Borst G. J., van der Toorn A., Moll F. L., Pennekamp C. W.A., Dijkhuizen R. M., Bleys R. L.A.W. 1 okt 2019, In: Journal of Comparative Neurology. 527 , p. 2263-2272 10 p.

Respiratory- and cardiac-triggered three-dimensional sheath inked rapid acquisition with refocused echoes imaging (SHINKEI) of the abdomen for magnetic resonance neurography of the celiac plexus

Ferrer Cyril J, Bos Clemens, Yoneyama Masami, Obara Makoto, Kok Lisanne, van Leeuwen Maarten S, Bleys Ronald L A W, Moonen Chrit T W, Bartels Lambertus W 29 mrt 2019, In: European radiology experimental. 3

High resolution 7T and 9.4T-MRI of human cerebral arterial casts enables accurate estimations of the cerebrovascular morphometry

Helthuis Jasper H.G., van der Zwan Albert, van Doormaal Tristan P.C., Bleys Ronald L.A.W., Harteveld Anita A., van der Toorn Annette, Brozici Mariana, Hendrikse Jeroen, Zwanenburg Jaco J.M. 1 dec 2018, In: Scientific Reports. 8

Rationale and design of the extracranial carotid artery aneurysm registry

Welleweerd J C, Bots M L, Kappelle L J, Rinkel G J, Ruigrok Y M, Baas A F, van der Worp H B, Vergouwen M D, Bleys R L, Hendrikse J, Lo T H, Moll F L, de Borst G J okt 2018, In: Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery. 59 , p. 692-698

The anterior longitudinal ligament in diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis: ossified or displaced?

Kuperus Jonneke S., Smit Esther J. M., Pouran Behdad, van Hamersvelt Robbert W., van Stralen Marijn, Seevinck Peter R., Buckens Constantinus F., Bleys Ronald L. A. W., Weinans Harrie H., Oner F. Cumhur, de Jong Pim A., Verlaan Jorrit-Jan sep 2018, In: Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 36 , p. 2491-2496

The anatomy of the thoracic duct at the level of the diaphragm:A cadaver study

Defize Ingmar L., Schurink Bernadette, Weijs Teus J., Roeling Tom A.P., Ruurda Jelle P., van Hillegersberg Richard, Bleys Ronald L.A.W. 1 mei 2018, In: Annals of Anatomy. 217 , p. 47-53 7 p.

Branching Pattern of the Cerebral Arterial Tree

Helthuis Jasper H.G., van Doormaal Tristan P.C., Hillen Berend, Bleys Ronald L.A.W., Harteveld Anita A., Hendrikse Jeroen, van der Toorn Annette, Brozici Mariana, Zwanenburg Jaco J.M., van der Zwan Albert 1 jan 2018, In: Anatomical Record - Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology. 302 , p. 1434-1446 13 p.

ypT0N+ status in oesophageal cancer patients:Location of residual metastatic lymph nodes with regard to the neoadjuvant radiation field

Schurink B., Seesing M. F.J., Goense L., Mook S., Brosens L. A.A., Mohammad N. Haj, Ruurda J. P., Roeling T. A.P., Bleys R. L.A.W., van Hillegersberg R. 1 jan 2018, In: European Journal of Surgical Oncology. 45 , p. 454-459 6 p.

Histological validation of calcifications in the human hippocampus as seen on computed tomography

Peters Melissa E M, Kockelkoren Remko, de Brouwer Esther J M, Koek Huiberdina L, Bleys Ronald L A W, Mali Willem P Th M, Hendrikse Jeroen, Rozemuller Annemieke M, de Jong Pim A 2018, In: PLoS ONE [E]. 13

All Research Output (105)
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