A key component of this research is collaboration, and Jan van Deursen’s success in this arena is no exception. The Mayo Clinic Model of Research relies on researchers’ collaboration, accelerating the discovery process and providing answers to unmet patient needs. Aside from focusing on ophthalmology, Jan van Deursen’s background includes research in aging and age-related diseases. He co-founded Unity Biotechnology, a publicly traded company aiming to develop therapeutics that can slow or reverse human aging. Unity Biotechnology was later acquired by Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man. Its current funding sources include investors such as Jeff Bezos, who put over $116 million into the company.
During his tenure as chair of the department of biochemistry at Mayo Clinic, Jan Van Deursen promoted diversity among faculty members. He filled five of six open tenure-track positions with diverse candidates. In addition to this, he championed non-tenure track faculty members. He also worked with the Mayo Clinic’s leadership to improve mentoring programs and institutional support for non-tenure-track faculty. His research lab at Mayo Clinic was highly diverse throughout his career.
As a graduate student at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, Jan Van Deursen applied his knowledge to cancer research. He discovered the role of a protein called BubR1, which is essential for faithful chromosome segregation during mitosis. His work has been published in leading scientific journals. And he has also worked with the Mayo Clinic’s genetic knockout facility.
After graduating from college, Van Deursen served in many leadership roles at Mayo Clinic, including the director of their senescence program. He received numerous awards at Mayo, including Investigator of the Year and Distinguished Investigator.
A Dutch native, Jan Van Deursen graduated with a Ph.D. in cell biology in 1993. After working for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, he went to the US to pursue research opportunities. He created a stem cell editing lab in the United States and directed its transgenic and gene knockout core facility from 1999 until his retirement. During this time, he also served as chair of the biochemistry and molecular biology department.
A Dutch doctorate in cell biology, Jan Van Deursen came to the Mayo Clinic in 1999. While researching childhood cancers, he created mouse models prone to chromosome abnormalities. During the research, he discovered that removing these cells from mice significantly increased their lifespan. In addition, eliminating senescent cells reduced a wide range of aging-related diseases. Unity Biotechnology spun off his discovery, focusing on translating his discoveries into effective treatments for age-related diseases.
Jan Van Deursen is a scientist who has played an important role in the development of stem cell research. He was born in the Netherlands and studied at universities in the United States before becoming a professor at Maastricht University. There, he helped to establish a new field of study: tissue engineering. This involves growing tissues and organs in the laboratory, using stem cells as a starting point.
In recent years, Van Deursen has turned his attention to cancer. He and his colleagues have developed a way to kill cancer cells without harming normal cells. This approach could potentially be used to treat various cancers, including those currently difficult to treat.
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