November 1, 2021
In June 1993, he returned to Tilburg as a staff surgeon responsible for trauma and intensive care. He was called back to Utrecht, in 1999 and became their director for surgical intensive care, emergency department, Major Incident Hospital. He was appointed professor of integral quality management in hospitals in 2000 and then promoted to his current position, full professor of trauma and emergency surgery and intensive care, at Utrecht University that same year.
Professor Leenen has held numerous leadership positions, including secretary of the Dutch Trauma Society and board member of the World Coalition for the Care of Trauma. He also is a founding member, former secretary, and past-president of the European Trauma Society and is involved with the content for their website, estes-online.org. Subsequently, he became chair of their Visceral Trauma Section. He is an active member of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma and the International Surgical Society and has been an organizer for the World Trauma Congress. A Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he was one of the two founding fathers of the Dutch ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) Foundation, past-president of the Dutch Advanced Life Support Group, and currently serves as president of the MedicALS.
He has been involved in the national re-engineering of the Dutch Medical Disaster Organization, regionalizing Dutch trauma care based on the U.S. system of demographically defined regional Level I Trauma Centers, which served as a model for other European countries like the U.K. He founded the Dutch Trauma Registry and is chair of its Scientific Board. He was part of the group re-engineering the Dutch Medical Disaster organization.
His research focus is on the immune reaction after trauma and the organization of trauma and disaster care. He has more than 350 PubMed publications and has served as a mentor for 40 PhD students. He developed an active and ongoing research institute at Utrecht based on the modification of the inflammatory response during trauma with a particular focus on neutrophil activation and modulation, and his research is focused on endpoints of resuscitation and organizational challenges in disaster care.