Relevance to society as motivation

Cancer has a huge impact on society. The disease has far-reaching consequences for patients and those around them, both physically and psychologically. Annemieke Witteveen’s goal is to use her research to improve a patient's quality of life after cancer. She tries to predict and monitor possible consequences of cancer through research at the University of Twente so that a personalised plan can be made.

This article is part of the series 'Twente lives!' Here you will read personal stories about working and living in Twente. According to young talent ed people that we speak to, Twente is the place to be. The beautiful nature, the space, the down-to-earth mentality; all things that characterize Twente. In addition, there are plenty of career opportunities! Twente has many innovative, international and future-proof companies that are in need of  additional staff. Want to know what Twente has to offer? The story Annemieke of can be found below.

“The after-effects of (breast) cancer can have a lot of impact on quality of life”, she says. “Fatigue, depression, sexual dysfunction, joint problems; an incredible number of symptoms can occur. I am working within the university's TechMed Centre on ways to predict these symptoms so that doctors can act proactively and provide better treatment.”


Annemieke developed individual prediction models that doctors in Dutch hospital use online. This not only better predicts the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence; it also identifies it earlier and shows which symptoms individual women are more at risk of. The models ensure that women receive a personalised treatment plan instead of standardised follow-up treatment. 

Intensive work

“I enjoy having the opportunity to use technology for medical science in my profession”, says Annemieke. “It is intensive work, but I cannot imagine anything more important or enjoyable.” Her work does not go unnoticed: she wins many prizes to get the necessary financial support to continue her research. She more recently secured another €6.23 million for future research with 4TU.


“What motivates me? I think it is important work; it gives me satisfaction and is directly relevant”, she explains. "I challenge myself to do meaningful work all the time. Not just for patients, ex-patients and those around them but for society as a whole. One of my goals is to create more awareness of the long-term consequences of cancer.”

Holidays in Delden

Annemieke feels completely at home as an assistant professor at the University of Twente. Her job gives her a lot of satisfaction. She has limited time for hobbies next to her busy job: she and her husband Jesper have three children. 5-year-old twins (Frank and Mark) and 2-year-old daughter Laura. 


When she is not working, she and her family head out into the nature of Twente, something she has appreciated ever since she moved to Enschede from Egmond aan Zee. “We like walking on the grounds around the airport or visiting the petting zoo with the children. The funny thing is that even though my children have already seen a lot of the world because of my job, they still like spending the holidays in Twente most. Cycling to Delden, to a hotel with an indoor playground and a swimming pool; they love it.”


Leaving Twente is not an option for Annemieke: her job, the environment, and the friendliness of the people in Twente will keep her here for a while. 

Twente is the ideal place to live and work, according to the talents we meet. Want to know why? Read personal stories about living and making a career in Twente here. Want to look for a job immediately? Then take a look at our extensive job site.

Date: 10 January 2023 |

Author: Maaike Thüss

Contact information

Universiteit Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522NB Enschede
+31 (0)53 489 9111

Read more about #twenteleeft