Prof. Hidde Ploegh appointed Jon J. van Rood Chair in Chemical Immunology

Prof. Hidde Ploegh has been appointed professor Chemical Immunology, in particular biochemistry of the immune system, at the LUMC. He will take on the Jon J. van Rood Chair effective as of September 1st.

Ploegh's research concerns the biochemical analysis of the immune system in its broadest sense. "Our recent focus is on new methods to visualize immune reactions in a living organism, for example using positron emission tomography (PET). This is important for improvement of the prognosis and treatment of diseases in which the immune system is involved. For example, immunotherapy for the malignant skin disease melanoma. "

Perspective in Leiden

Ploegh is already a professor of Immunology at the Children's Hospital of Harvard Medical School in the United States. In the first instance, he will therefore have an advisory role for the LUMC research. "Hopefully this will change in the future. Especially the work within the Department of Chemical Immunology, and last but not least, the contacts with Hermen Overkleeft of the Department of Bio-organic Chemistry of the Leiden Institute of Chemistry, offer perspective. "

Up-and-coming talent

The fact that his chair is named after the late Professor Jon van Rood is extra special for Ploegh. "Jon van Rood eventually became my promotor and ever since my time as a PhD student, I was supported - even when I was not in his laboratory - in my career. I have always experienced contact with Jon as very stimulating. Especially his constant interest in the ups and downs of up-and-coming talent serves as an example for me. He was also a bon vivant and was the embodiment of a man with a 'complete' life: satisfaction inside and outside work."