Utrecht - Hubrecht Institute. Photography by Thijs Rooimans

1 February 2022

New challenge for Hans Clevers at Roche

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Starting on the 18th of March, Hans Clevers, group leader at the Hubrecht Institute, will head the Roche Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) and become a member of the Corporate Executive Committee at Roche in Basel, Switzerland. In this new role, he will lead research into the development of drugs for a wide variety of diseases. Hans will remain closely involved with his research group at the Hubrecht Institute as an advisor/guest researcher.

Clevers is excited to lead pRED at Roche: “After working more than 40 years with fantastic colleagues in academic laboratories, my passion for science is undiminished. I hope to use the knowledge I obtained in these years to contribute to the development of essential, accessible drugs at Roche.”

Alexander van Oudenaarden, director of the Hubrecht Institute, shares that he is “immensely proud that Hans Clevers has been given the opportunity to follow his ambition and take a leap into this new adventure. Of course, we would have loved to keep him at the Hubrecht Institute full time, but we are honored that one of our researchers will fill this important position in drug discovery research.”

Clevers started his career by studying biology and medicine in Utrecht, with the goal to become a doctor and help patients. During his PhD however, he discovered his great passion for science and research and decided to continue in academia. In the years since, his research has led to many discoveries and his work is cited and built upon all over the world. After doing research in the US and the UMC Utrecht, Clevers came to the Hubrecht Institute in 2002. Under his leadership as director of the Hubrecht Institute between 2002 and 2012, the number of research groups and the research quality greatly increased. At the Hubrecht, the Clevers lab developed organoid technology, now used by countless labs around the world to study a wide variety of organs and diseases. Organoids, tiny versions of the organs in our body that can be grown in the lab, help us understand the way in which our organs work, how disease develops and whether certain drugs can help individual patients. By heading pRED, Clevers now comes full circle, aiming to help patients get better by leading the development of new drug treatments at Roche.


Hans Clevers has a MSc in Biology, is MD and did his doctoral research at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Currently he is professor at Utrecht University, group leader at the Hubrecht Institute and the Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology, and Oncode Investigator. In addition, he is a member of several scientific advisory boards, among which the Francis Crick Institute, and co-founder of several companies. He is a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Science in the United States, the Academy of Science in France and the Royal Society in the United Kingdom. Since 2019 Hans Clevers is involved with Roche as a member of the Board of Directors.

Read more in Roche’s press release.

An interview with Hans Clevers was published in the Financieele Dagblad (in Dutch).