The highly-regarded cellular biologist and entrepreneur sat down with a freelance journalist to discuss his life, his career, and his professional philosophy.
ROCHESTER, MN / ACCESSWIRE / September 7, 2021 / It is with much enthusiasm that celebrated cellular biologist and entrepreneur Jan Van Deursen announces that he is the subject of a new, in-depth professional profile. The interview, which was conducted by an online periodical that concentrates on matters relating to health and wellness, touches on topics ranging from his personal history to his takes on academia and the larger scientific community.
Early on in the profile, upon being asked what inspired him to pursue a career in cellular biology, Jan Van Deursen recalls a painful memory from his youth, explaining that his mother died of an untreatable disease when he was only a teenager. “She had a disease called Pulmonary Fibrosis. Basically, for people with this disease, the elasticity of their lungs gradually fades until they can’t really breathe anymore. It started when I was about 11 years old, and she died when I was 17. This was an incredibly traumatic experience, watching my mother suffer through this disease for which there was and still is no cure… We went to our local hospital, then to a regional hospital, then to the best academic hospitals, and nobody could find a solution to stabilize the disease or even ameliorate her suffering. That always stayed with me. I wanted to do something for people in that sort of situation-people who hear from their physician that there’s nothing much left to do. I wanted to help understand those sorts of diseases, and help find cures for them.”
Further along in the interview, Jan Van Deursen dispenses some sage advice to those who are considering adopting science as a professional vocation. “To be successful in science, to make it a true career, you need to have tremendous passion. It takes long hours, and easy discoveries have already been made. Truly new discoveries are hard to come by, and you need to invest your time and effort into making them,”he says, before making a prescient observation. “And so, if you’re not passionate about your profession, cutting-edge science may not be the best fit, at least not in the long run. One can still have a career without that passion, but in our field, one is likely to plateau early.”
Anyone interested in reading the full text of the profile is encouraged to keep watch for its publication in the coming days.
About Jan Van Deursen:
Jan Van Deursen earned his Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of Nijmegen, Netherlands in 1993. The following year, he moved to the United States and joined the faculty at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee to conduct research on childhood cancers. Jan was offered a staff position at Mayo Clinic in 1999, which he took, and proceeded to develop a curiosity-driven research program focused on the basic biology of cancer and aging. He also directed the transgenic and gene knockout core facility at that institution from 1999 – 2020. Additionally, he served a full 8-year term as the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from 2012 – 2020.
The crowning achievement of Jan Van Deursen’s career in medical research came when he made a series of seminal discoveries that causally linked the accumulation of senescent cells in tissues and organs to
aging and the development of age-related diseases, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, and osteoarthritis. Jan Van Deursen co-founded Unity Biotechnology, a publicly traded (NASDAQ) biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to pursue his research in order to develop therapeutics to slow, halt, or reverse diseases related to human aging. The company’s initial concentration has been on delivering localized therapy in ophthalmologic and neurologic diseases.
Currently, Jan Van Deursen lives and works in Rochester, Minnesota. He has been married for over 25 years and has three children.
Jan Van Deursen
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (507) 990-5635
SOURCE: Jan Van Deursen
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