The research of Professor Thijssen focuses on the introduction and understanding of non-pharmacological strategies to improve clinical outcomes. Specifically he examines the impact of physical activity on the quality and structure of arteries, and the role of hemodynamic forces on these adaptations. For this work, he develops techniques to non-invasively measure vascular and cardiac function. In addition, his work focuses on innovative strategies to improve health. Central in these strategies is the exposure to hypoxia. His research group is the first to explore the impact of (repeated) ischaemic and/or exercise preconditioning, which both induce local and/or systemic hypoxia. Independent of the route of administration, this work has revealed the potential clinical impact of repeated exposure to hypoxia to achieve benefits for patients. His personal ambition is to fully use the potential of hypoxia to improve patients’ life and reduce clinical symptoms through this simple, low-cost strategy.