Rizwan Tahir


Research Subject: Better in Better out (BiBo): Mechanisms behind the effects of peri-operative factors on postoperative recuperation in elderly patients undergoing surgery.

Beneficiary:  The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)

Supervisory Team:  Dr. Victor Kallen, Dr. Bart Bongers, and Professor Dr. Nico Van Meeteren.

PhD Update:  Unable to complete research


Rizwan was born and raised in Pakistan.  He did his B.Sc. (Hons) in Physical Therapy and then worked in a school for mentally and physically challenged children.  Rizwan’s role was as a physiotherapist, department coordinator, counselor and physical activity instructor.  During his degree, Rizwan volunteered with an NGO for disaster relief in Pakistan during the 2005 earthquake. This involved arranging free camps for earthquake victims to help in their rehabilitation, enhance their well-being and promote physical activity.  Furthermore, during his physiotherapy degree, Rizwan wrote a research report on ‘Sciatic Pain’, which made him realize the lack of research knowledge in developing countries.   Rizwan’s particular motivation to pursue PhD studies stems from the existence of this knowledge gap in Pakistan, which he wants to realize in future.

Rizwan also completed his double Erasmus Mundus Master’s degree in exercise and sport psychology (EMSEP) from University of Jyväskylä, Finland (home university) and University of Leipzig, Germany.  His interest in research work grew bigger while he was writing his thesis. The thesis was in a very renowned ongoing longitudinal research project in Finland called ‘Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study’.  The EMSEP has equipped Rizwan with the basic knowledge of research work.

Just recently Rizwan completed a B.Sc. in Health Care Sciences (Nursing) from Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, Finland.  During the degree, Rizwan had many practical placements in Finnish hospitals and got a chance to work closely with elderly patients.  He worked in a pre-operative unit, operation theatres, recovery rooms, and post-operative rehabilitation centers of the hospital.  Rizwan monitored the needs and demands of the elderly patients undergoing surgical procedures, especially, their physical conditions, functional capacities, nutritional status and psychosocial factors.

Under PANINI project the primary focus of the PhD research will be on the impact of physical fitness, nutritional supplementation (e.g., n-3 fatty acids, vitamin D), influence of mood, psychosocial status and physical exercise interventions on the functioning of frail elderly and patient groups.