Laudation during the ceremony was delivered by Prof. Tomasz Szczepański, who emphasised that the winner of this honorary title is also a "valued representative of translational medicine".
Among van Dongen's most important scientific achievements the laudator mentioned, among others, his contribution to the understanding of the normal development of the cells of the lymphatic system, improvement of immunophenotyping in diagnosis and classification of haematological malignancies, and the introduction of diagnosis of minimal residual disease in clinical practice.
Prof. Szczepański also reminded that the laureate collaborated with Polish scientists, including researchers from the Medical University of Silesia, jointly implementing the international ERA-NET PRIOMEDCHILD grant project "Assessment of treatment effectiveness in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia by monitoring minimal residual disease with 8-color flow cytometry".
"Through this collaboration, the flow cytometry evaluation of residual disease for the Polish cancer patients in Poland was possible, and is now a routine diagnostic tool" - said Prof. Szczepański.
The rector of the Medical University of Silesia Prof. Przemysław Jałowiecki reminded during the ceremony that "for each academic community conferring the title of honorary doctor is an act of highest importance". Awarding the title to Prof. van Dongen, he added, for the university is "a special privilege and honour".
During the ceremony, Prof. van Dongen delivered the lecture "Diagnosis and monitoring of acute leukaemia: from a research tool to therapeutic intervention".
Prof. Jacques van Dongen graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at Erasmus University in Rotterdam in 1981. After obtaining a doctoral degree within the framework of the project "Phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of the lymphatic system cancers" in 1991 he became a professor in the Department of Immunology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
Since April 2016 he also heads the scientific team at the Leiden University Medical Centre, dealing with innovative immune monitoring.
His scientific achievements include nearly 700 full-text publications, including 430 articles in the Philadelphia List journals, 167 book chapters and 14 books. In addition, the professor is co-author of 18 patents, most of which have been licensed to companies that manufacture diagnostic tests.
Prof. van Dongen's research interests focus on the normal development of the lymphatic system cells, primary immune deficiencies in the lymphatic system, immunophenotyping and molecular diagnosis and classification of haematological malignancies and diagnosis of minimal residual disease in leukaemia.
Prof. Jacques van Dongen is the 59th doctor honoris causa of the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice.
PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland
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