The Research of Jan Van Deursen has been credited with many seminal discoveries in medical science. His research is helping scientists to understand the relationship between cellular senescence and age-related diseases. He also co-founded Unity Biotechnology, a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company whose focus is on finding ways to eliminate senescent cells in humans. His groundbreaking work has resulted in several therapeutic products. Unity Biotechnology is gearing up for clinical trials in osteoarthritis and glaucoma.
Since Unity Biotechnology went public in 2018, Jan Van Deursen has continued to be entrepreneurially active and pursue his goal of developing cancer and aging medicines. Millions of dollars support his work in government grants, and the company now trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange. In addition, his research is also attracting big investors, including Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world. The research of Jan Van Deursen is changing the way we live. Whether it’s cancer, aging, or unmet clinical needs, Jan van Deursen is making breakthroughs that can benefit the public and improve our quality of life.
Since 1999, Dr. van Deursen has been working on the coin of cancer and senescence and running his laboratory. His advisor at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, Be Wieringa, has been instrumental in helping him launch a genetic knockout mouse project. Their findings have appeared in prestigious journals. There are many examples of the impact of his research on the field of cancer and aging.
In addition to cancer, Jan van Deursen’s research has been applied to other areas of medicine. His research focused on a protein called BubR1, which is essential for mitotic checkpoints. It is causally implicated in cancer, progeria, and aging. In addition to his research, Van Deursen is an expert in cell biology and has a Ph.D. in Cell Biology.
While working as the chair of the department of biochemistry at the Mayo Clinic, Jan van Deursen was a champion for diversity. He filled 5 of the six tenure-track positions with diverse candidates. He also fought for the advancement of non-tenure-track faculty at the Mayo Clinic. He worked with the leadership of Mayo Clinic to improve mentoring programs and institutional support for these scientists. His research lab was diverse throughout his career.
The Internationally recognized American scientist Jan van Deursen is developing new treatments for age-related diseases. After earning his Ph.D. in 1994, Jan van Deursen moved to the United States to pursue his dream of developing stem cell editing techniques. From 1999 to 2020, he led the Mayo Clinic’s transgenic and gene knockout core facility. While he was there, he worked on his groundbreaking discovery regarding aging.
This breakthrough came about after genetically engineered mice were fed a diet rich in fat for 3 months. The mice’s plaque remained unchanged, but sixty percent of the senescent cells were eliminated from the bodies. This research was named a breakthrough by the journal Science in 2011. It suggests that banishing senescent cells could help us live longer and better. And Dr. van Deursen’s co-author, Dr. Childs, had previously worked in another lab before joining Mayo.
As a cancer biologist, Dr. van Deursen has focused on the role of senescent cells in the development of atherosclerosis. Although previous studies had debated the role of senescent cells, his work demonstrates that deleting senescent cells in mice can dramatically improve their health and life expectancy. The study’s findings have implications for cancer treatment and aging.
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