About

Oncode's Founding Scientists

Who started all this? A bit of background on the scientists that were pivotal in starting Oncode Institute.

In 2012, René Kuijten, a member of Topsector Life Sciences & Health (Health Holland), and Rudy Dekeyser, the former Managing Director of the Flemish biotechnology institute VIB, began advocating for changes to the oncological ecosystem, arguing that they could propel the Netherlands to a leading position in the translation of research findings into results for patients. Five of the Netherlands’ top scientists in the international field of fundamental oncology research joined forces with Kuijten and Dekeyser and began providing scientific leadership for a new institute. They became the five founding scientists of the Oncode Institute:

Hans Bos, René Bernards, Anton Berns, Hans Clevers and Jan Hoeijmakers

These five scientists acted as the driving force behind the launch of Oncode. They were at the basis of Oncode’s scientific strategy and helped shape the six research themes.

As initial members of the Research Management Committee (RMC), they started their first scientific activities within Oncode, where Hans Bos acted as the first scientific director of Oncode. An example is the setup of the Clinical Proof of Concept programme and the launch of the first call in February 2018.

As of June 2018, the founding scientists stepped back from the RMC to make way for the new research generation. They are, however, still very much involved within the Oncode Community as Oncode Investigators.

During the Annual Conference in 2018, the founding scientists were thanked for their work with a symbolic gift, a piece of art from Peejay. Peejay, an artist from Tilburg and father of three kids, was diagnosed with lymphoma at the age of 36. Apart from all the misery the disease brought into his life, it also gave him something positive. He had to stop working and found a new passion in life: being an artist. He created personalized pieces of art for each of the founding scientists. We look forward to their continuous contribution to Oncode’s mission outsmarting cancer, impacting lives.