Universiteit Leiden

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Jacques van Dongen

Professor emeritus Medical Immunology

Prof.dr. J.J.M. van Dongen

Jacques J.M. van Dongen is professor of Medical Immunology at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). Based on his 35-year experience in Medical Immunology at Erasmus MC, he was recruited to LUMC in 2016 to build an LUMC-wide immune monitoring program. He coordinated 7 European research networks in hemato-oncology and medical immunology, including 4 EU-supported consortia. In 2016 he received an ERC Advanced Grant for diagnosis and monitoring of cancer via circulating immune cells. In 2016 he was also awarded with a Doctor Honoris Causa at the Silesian University of Medicine in Katowice, Poland. In 2018, he received the Berend Houwen Award from the International Society of Laboratory Hematology for his innovative contributions to diagnostic flow cytometry.

More information about Jacques van Dongen

Immune monitoring program

The immune monitoring program consists of translational research focusing on the dissection of cellular, functional and molecular genetic processes during normal and aberrant immune cell differentiation/maturation and on the development and clinical evaluation of novel diagnostic strategies and methods in medical immunology. This program will support the monitoring of immune cell populations in health and disease, such as in immune therapies with antibodies, checkpoint inhibitors and cellular therapies as well as in vaccination and cancer treatment. Ultimately, this research will benefit patients by improving clinical diagnosis and allowing personalized medicine with adaptations in individual treatment strategies according to the immune monitoring results.

Flow cytometry plays a key role in dissecting circulating immune cells. This is why all flow cytometers, cell sorters and CyTOF instruments have been combined into one central facility. This allows a more standardized management of these instruments, which play a key role in the immune monitoring program at LUMC. Together with prof. Frank Staal, Jacques J.M. van Dongen coordinates this Flow cytometry Core Facility (FCF).

Academic career

Prof. Van Dongen obtained his MD degree in 1981 and was recognized as Medical Immunologist in 1988. On June 20th, 1990, he received his PhD at Erasmus MC, entitled “Human T-cell differentiation: Basic aspects and their clinical applications”. He held his inaugural lecture on “Medical Immunology: from basic research to patient care” at Erasmus MC on May 14, 1992. On November 10th, 2017, he was officially appointed Professor Medical Immunology at LUMC, after an inaugural lecture entitled “Immune monitoring in patient care. How to use the immune system for diagnosis and disease monitoring”.

Prof. Van Dongen contributed to ~700 manuscripts and book chapters, including ~450 SCI publications (with ~26,000 citations, ~59 citations per paper and h-index of 86). He is inventor on 18 patent (applications): 14/18 granted; all licensed. He coordinates or coordinated 7 European networks in the field of diagnostics in hemato-oncology and immunology, including 4 EU-supported consortia. Three of these EU-supported consortia obtained long-term sustainability based on revenues from collectively filed and owned patents. He is the founding chairman of these three consortia, EuroClonality (1996-2011), EuroMRD (2001-2017) and EuroFlow (2006-now), which are united in the European Scientific foundation of Laboratory Hemato-Oncology (ESLHO).

Prizes and honourable appointments

Nov. 1987: Research Prize 1987 by the Erasmus University Rotterdam, NL 
Feb. 1988: Clinical Society Prize 1987 by the Clinical Society Rotterdam (Klinisch Genootschap Rotterdam), NL 
April 1989: Bekalis Prize on Leukemia Research 1988 by the Bekalis Foundation, Brussels, BE 
June 1990: Cum laude Ph.D. degree at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, NL 
Dec. 1992: Sandoz Research Prize for best Ph.D. thesis in Applied Immunology 1989-1992, NL 
Nov. 1994: Van Vlissingen Prize by the Ank van Vlissingen Foundation, Utrecht, NL 
Sept. 2001: Botkin Award, St. Petersburg, RUS 
Nov. 2002: Leukaemia Research Fund, Annual Guest Lecture 2002, London, GB 
Dec. 2002: Katelyn Pasley Memorial Lecture (as Visiting Professor), University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 
Dec. 2006: Medal “Friend of the Child Health Centre” of Children’s Memorial Health Institute, Warsaw, PL 
Dec. 2010: Van Loghem Laureate, Dutch Society for Immunology, Noordwijkerhout, NL 
June 2014 Hirszfeld Award of Polish Immunology Society
June 2016 Honorary Doctorate Med University Silesia, Poland
May 2018: Berend Houwen Award by the International Society of Laboratory Hematology

Professor emeritus Medical Immunology

  • Faculteit Geneeskunde
  • Divisie 4
  • Immunologie

Work address

LUMC Main Building
Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden


  • EuroFlow Consortium en BD Biosciences Seminars en Educatieve workshops over flowcytometrie
  • EuroMRD (Based on EU-supported BMH-CMT94-1675 Concerted Action) Founding Chairman (2001); Board member (2016)
  • EuroClonality (EU-supported BMH4-CT98-3936 Concerted Action) Founding chairman (1996); Board member since 2011
  • European Scientific foundation for Laboratory Hemato-Oncology (ESLHO) Chairman. Coordination/management of EU-supported consortia in diagnostic hematology and immunology
  • EuroFlow (EU-supported LSHB-CT-2006-018708 Specific Targeted Research Project) Founding Chairman and current Chairman
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