Laurien Buffart finished her Masters in Human Movement Sciences at the VU University in Amsterdam in 2003. After her studies, she started as a junior researcher at the department of Rehabilitation Medicine of Erasmus MC in Rotterdam studying arm/hand functioning in children with congenital reduction deficiencies of the upper limb. One year later, she started with her PhD thesis on physical activity and fitness in adolescents and young adults with spina bifida at the same department. In November 2008, she obtained her PhD degree.
During her PhD, she visited the Centre for Physical Activity and Health at the University of Sydney in Australia for 5 months, working on a project on General Practitioners’ perceptions and practices on physical activity and weight counselling.
Currently, Laurien is working as a scientific researcher at the EMGO+ Institute, VU University Medical Centre Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She coordinates several research projects on physical activity and exercise in cancer survivors, including the Alpe d’HuZes Cancer Rehabilitation (A-CaRe), the Predicting OptimaL cAncer RehabIlitation and Supportive care (POLARIS) study, and the MEchanisms of Training In patients with Cancer (METRIC) pilot study.
In 2011, she obtained the Bas Mulder Award, a personal grant funded by the Alpe d'HuZes/KWF foundation. With this funding, she will build an international consortium and create a large database with individual patient data to investigate what rehabilitation or supportive care program works best for which cancer patients, under what circumstances and through which mechanisms: the POLARIS (Predicting OptimaL cAncer RehabIlitation and Supportive care) study.
She visited the Edith Cowan University in Joondalup, Western Australia for three months at the end of 2013, collaborating with prof.dr. R. Newton and prof.dr. D. Galvão on research on exercise in patients with prostate cancer.