Research building named after Jon van Rood

06 Jul 2018 | Back to News, Publications and Annual Reports

BPRC honours pioneer in transplantation medicine

On Monday, 25 June, BPRC's research building was named after one of the greatest Dutch post-WWII researchers: Jon van Rood (1926-2017). In the presence of Van Rood's widow, BPRC's Board of Directors unveiled a commemorative plaque featuring his name, photo and some words on his achievements.

Jon van Rood was a pioneer and trailblazer active in transplantation medicine. For instance, he was one of the first scientists to discover the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) system, which is crucial to determining whether someone can donate an organ to another person or receive an organ donated by another person. He then applied this knowledge to the successful transplantation protocols he introduced to hospitals and by establishing several foundations (including Eurotransplant and a stem cell donor bank), whose overarching goal was to maximise the chances of finding a suitable donor. He received great international recognition and many awards for this groundbreaking work.

Indelible contribution to the development of BPRC

‘Jon Rood made an indelible contribution to BPRC's scientific and societal positioning,’ explained Ronald Bontrop, BPRC's Director. ‘First in his capacity as a researcher, then in his capacity as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board and of the Supervisory Board. Several of the bone marrow and organ transplantation protocols which are currently being followed successfully at hospitals were partially developed here in Rijswijk, at this place. The name of Jon van Rood will forever be bound up with ours. By naming this building after him, we are honouring a major scientist, and more than anything, a doctor who always served his patients' interests in an outstanding manner.’