AntoinE Snijders

June 2, 2022

Growing up in a small town in the south of Holland, Antoine Snijders, Department Head of BioEngineering & BioMedical Sciences, grew up next to a forest as a child. Starting at age five, he would explore and watch birds. That interest in the natural world later morphed into a formal interest in both biology and medicine. He studied biomedical sciences at college in Amsterdam and then as an exchange student at UC San Francisco (UCSF). After earning his doctorate, he returned to UCSF to work in its Cancer Research Institute. In 2008, Snijders joined Berkeley Lab.

How has your work changed since starting at Berkeley Lab?

Here at the Lab, it has broadened a bit. I’ve always been interested and still do research related to cancer. I collaborate with Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics (ATAP). We’re using laser-driven ions for cancer treatment to reduce toxicity to healthy tissue.

Do you serve on any committees?

I serve on the Human Subjects Committee. I’m on the board that reviews and approves research on human subjects. We follow federal regulations and review protocols. We treat (potential subjects) as autonomous agents capable of making decisions on their own, treat people fairly and justly, and aim to do no harm.

Since 2010, you have volunteered to search for missing persons in Contra Costa County. Could you tell me about a search?

Several months ago in downtown Concord, a city in the East Bay, we were searching for an elderly lady with dementia. She walked away from her doctor’s appointment. Her family couldn’t find her so they called search and rescue. She was found close to a freeway underpass. That happened to be an urban search. There are plenty of searches that are in pretty rugged terrain. There was one for a missing hiker. In the end, he was found deceased. Another search was for a runner in Alameda County who went for a trail run and didn’t come back to his car. You never know where you are going to be when you undertake a search.