Professor Pathology, in particular the molecular pathology of hereditary tumours
Hans Morreau is a registered medical specialist (attending anatomic and molecular pathologist), affiliated to the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. He is professor of Pathology and head of the molecular diagnostic unit of the department. Furthermore he is a registered “clinical molecular scientist in pathology (KMBP)” and a registered instructor-teacher for molecular biologists in training for KMBP. Hans Morreau is a part time advisor to GenomeScan being a company in molecular diagnostics.
As being appointed as a professor the aim of his work was primarily described as the “Pathology of Inheritable Cancers. The latter concerns the fact the inheritable factors can not only contribute to a higher risk of developing cancer but also lead to alternative treatment schemes.
Prof. J. (Hans) Morreau was born march 27th 1959
PhD: “Structural and functional analysis of lysosomal beta-galactosidase and its relation to the protective protein” (Erasmus University Rotterdam 1992).
Appointment as professor of Pathology 2006: “Molecular pathology of inheritable tumors”.
Title professors speech (okt 17th 2008): “Lessons from inheritable forms of cancer”
1978-1985: Training in medicine.
1985-1992: PhD fellow at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, studying the genetics of human GM1-gangliosidosis
1992-1997: Residency in Pathology, Dijkzigt University Hospital Rotterdam
1995: Visiting scientist at the Dept. of Genetics, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA (head: Dr. G. Grosveld).
Field of study and professional tasks
Prof. Hans Morreau is a staff member and attending pathologist at the department of Pathology of the Leiden University Medical Center since 1997. Since 2008 he is a full professor of pathology (pathology of familial cancer and molecular pathology).
The focus of his current clinical tasks is on molecular diagnostic pathology, diseases of the digestive tract and endocrine pathology. He is responsible for the molecular diagnostic unit within the department of Pathology, dealing with molecular testing that improves primary diagnosis as well as testing for companion diagnostic purposes (the whole spectrum of human tumors i.e. cancers of the lung, GE tract, recurrent endocrine cancers, melanomas etc). He is board certified as “clinical molecular biologist in pathology” (KMBP) in the Netherlands.
Together with his collaborators his current research focuses on familial colorectal cancer (CRC) and endocrine diseases. In the former, the research encompasses the elucidation of novel germ-line variants that explain the occurrence of colorectal polyposis and/or familial clustering of CRC. Secondly, the tumor characteristics in such families are studied.
For cancer including endocrine disease there is an aim to improve diagnostic approaches, where necessary by introducing molecular testing. Furthermore there is a focus on recurrent thyroid-, parathyroid- and adrenal cortical cancer. In cell line experiments the effectiveness of small molecule drugs is tested in relation to molecular genotypes and phenotypes. Recently, genomic haploidisation was found in a subset of thyroid cancers (oncocytic types of follicular cancer), that have a tendency to recur due to loss of radioactive iodine transport. The underlying biology is being studied. In the context of molecular diagnostics Prof Morreau is involved in a novel program that combines digital pathology and so-called molecular histology, including virtual microdissection. Molecular histology aims to study molecular alterations in disease in a spatial context, looking at cell transduction pathways and stromal characteristics such as the presence of inflammatory cells, that might determine therapy response.