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Clevers Group

Hans Clevers

Hans Clevers obtained his MD degree in 1984 and his PhD degree in 1985 from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. His postdoctoral work (1986-1989) was done with Cox Terhorst at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a teaching affiliate of Harvard University in Boston, USA.

From 1991-2002 Hans Clevers was Professor of Immunology at the University of Utrecht and, since 2002, he has held the position of Professor of Molecular Genetics. From 2002-2012, he was the director of the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht. From 2012-2015 he was the President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Since June 2015, Hans has been the director of research at the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology.

Hans Clevers has been a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2000, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2012 and a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA since 2014. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Dutch Spinoza Award in 2001, the Swiss Louis Jeantet Prize in 2004, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Katharine Berkan Judd Award in 2005, the Israeli Rabbi Shai Shacknai Memorial Prize in 2006, the Dutch Josephine Nefkens Prize for Cancer Research and the German Meyenburg Cancer Research Award in 2008, the Dutch Cancer Society Award in 2009, the United European Gastroenterology Federation (UEGF) Research Prize in 2010, the German Ernst Jung-Preis für Medizin in 2011, the French Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer (ARC) Léopold Griffuel Prize and the Heineken Prize in 2012 and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2013. He obtained an ERC Advanced Investigator grant in 2008. He is Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur since 2005 and Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion since 2012.

Research Focus

Initially the research of the Clevers group focused on T lymphocyte transcription factors. In 1991, Tcf1 was cloned. With the discovery that Tcf factors are the final effectors of Wnt signaling, the interest was changed to the biology of Wnt signaling in intestinal self-renewal and cancer. In a series of adult tissues, stem cells were identified with the novel Lgr5 marker. In addition, long-term culture technologies were developed for many epithelial tissue types and tumors in these. This powerful organoid technology will be used and further optimized to study pediatric tumors.

Key publications

  • Farin HF, Jordens I, Mosa MH, Basak O, Korving J, Tauriello DV, de Punder K, Angers S, Peters PJ, Maurice MM, Clevers H. Visualization of a short-range Wnt gradient in the intestinal stem-cell niche. Nature. 2016 Feb 10.
  • van de Wetering, M, Francies, HE, Francis, JM, Bounova, G, Iorio, F, Pronk, A, van Houdt, W, van Gorp, J, Taylor-Weiner, A, Kester, L, McLaren-Douglas, A, Blokker, J, Jaksani, S, Bartfeld, S, Volckman, R, van Sluis, P, Li, VSW, Seepo, S, Sekhar Pedamallu, C, Cibulskis, C, Carter, SL, McKenna, A, Lawrence, MS, Lichtenstein, L, Stewart, C, Koster, J, Versteeg, R, van Oudenaarden, A, Saez-Rodriguez, J, Vries, RGJ, Getz, G, Wessels, L, Stratton, MR, McDermott, U, Meyerson, M, Garnett, MJ, Clevers, H. Prospective derivation of a ‘Living Organoid Biobank’ of colorectal cancer patients. Cell 161: 933-945 (2015)
  • Drost, J, van Jaarsveld, RH, Ponsioen, B, Zimberlin, C, van Boxtel, R, Buijs, A,Sachs, N, Overmeer, RM, Offerhaus, GJ, Begthel, H Korving, J, van de Wetering, M, Schwank, G Logtenberg, M, Cuppen, E, Snippert, HJ, Medema, JP, Kops, GJPL, Clevers, H. Sequential cancer mutations in cultured human intestinal stem cells. Nature 521: 43-47 (2015)
  • Sato, T, Vries, R, Snippert, H, van de Wetering, M, Barker, N, Stange, D, van Es, J, Abo, A, Kujala, P, Peters, P, Clevers, H. Single Lgr5 gut stem cells build crypt-villus structures in vitro without a stromal niche. Nature 459 : 262-265 (2009)
  • Barker, N, van Es, JH, Kuipers, J, Kujala, P, van den Born, M, Cozijnsen, M, Korving, J, Begthel, H, Peters, PC, Clevers, H. Identification of stem cells in small intestine and colon by a marker gene LGR5. Nature 449: 1003-1007 (2007)

Group members

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