Prof. Hans Aerts,

Hans Aerts is Head of the Department of Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leiden since January 2015. Earlier he chaired the Department of Biochemistry at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam (2000-2014).

His research focuses on glycosphingolipids in health and disease with special attention for inherited lysosomal storage disorders like Gaucher disease, as well as neurodegeneration and the Metabolic Syndrome.

Trained in biochemistry at the University of Amsterdam and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA, he completed his PhD thesis Biochemical studies on glucocerebrosidase in relation to Gaucher disease with honours in 1988. He was involved in the first application of enzyme replacement therapy and substrate reduction therapy of type 1 Gaucher disease in Europe as well as the discovery of now widely used biomarkers. He has been (co)promotor of 42 completed PhD thesis works and published over 430 peer-reviewed papers (H-index: 93, Google Scholar).

Professor Aerts is recipient of various governmental research grants, including the ERC Advanced Research Grant ‘Chemical Biology of Sphingolipids and the NWO Building Blocks of Life Grant ‘Glucosylceramide’. He is founder and honorary president of the European Working Group on Gaucher Disease (EWGGD), a society comprising all major Gaucher clinical and research centres and national patient societies worldwide. He was awarded the Dutch Annual Prize in Biochemistry (1989), the Alan Gordon Memorial Award (2007), the first Gaucher Lifetime Achievement Award (2012) and Cle du Lysosome Award (2016).