Willem van Mechelen is Head Department of Department of Public and Occupational Health of VU University Medical Centre and Co- Director EMGO+ Institute of VU University Medical Centre. Willem van Mechelen (1952) was born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After completion of his training as a PE-teacher he worked for 9 years at an Amsterdam high school. He combined this with studying medicine at the University of Amsterdam. After his certification as an MD in 1982 he started working at various out-patient clinics as a sports and occupational physician. He also started in that year his scientific career with a part-time appointment at the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He earned his PhD in Human Movement Sciences in 1992. He also is a board certified occupational physician and a registered epidemiologist. Currently, he is employed by the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam as a full professor of Occupational and Sports Medicine.