Keke Keukelaar, 2022.


My name is Ruben Verwaal (*1986) and I work as curator and historian.



Ruben Verwaal is curator of the medical heritage collections and assistant professor of medical history at the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam.

Academically, Ruben worked as Postdoctoral Fellow at Durham University (2019–2022), PhD candidate in History of Medicine at University of Groningen (2013–2017) and lecturer in History and Philosophy of the Sciences at Utrecht University (2010–2013). Ruben has also been active as cultural heritage specialist, working at the University Museum Utrecht (2009–2010), Dutch Railway Museum (2011–2013), and Sound and Vision, The Hague (2017–2019).

Public Engagement

Working in both academia and museums supports Ruben’s ambition for his research to influence the wider conservation and public perception about health and disability. To this end, Ruben publishes both in academic and popular journals, and he curates exhibitions as a means of public outreach as well as to promote medical humanities perspectives.


Ruben’s scholarship has been internationally recognised, most recently by a Honorary Fellowship at the Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham (2022), a Rubicon Award of the Dutch Research Council (2019), a Visiting Scholarship at Gotha Research Library (2017), the Santorio Fellowship of the CSMBR in Pisa (2017), and a Scaliger Fellowship at Leiden University Library (2016).

Media Coverage

Ruben’s project Blood, Sweat and Tears has garnered much media attention, with reviews and interviews appearing in newspapers, journals, podcasts, radio and TV shows.



r.verwaal [at] erasmusmc.nl