Jan van Hest works at the cutting edge of (polymer) chemistry and biomedicine. He focuses on the design and synthesis of bio-inspired peptide-based materials and the development of conjugation methods for the preparation of biohybrid systems. The objective of his research is to construct smart compartments with life-like features, which develops along two main lines of research: nanomedicine and artificial cells and organelles.
The nanomedicine research line in particular concerns medicine transport systems and synthetic vaccines. Using a combination of techniques from polymer science to protein engineering, well-defined carriers and scaffolds are developed for application in e.g. cancer treatment, immunology and ophthalmology.
Van Hest is also active in the field of artificial and hybrid cells where he designs and constructs adaptive nano- and microcompartments that simulate living cells. His artificial nanoreactors can be incorporated as artificial organelles in living cells to complement or affect cellular processes.
Creating molecular assemblies with life-like properties is not only of crucial importance to better understand the living cell, but also leads to the design of the next generation adaptive materials.
Jan van Hest obtained his PhD in macro-organic chemistry with professor Bert Meijer from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in 1996. He then worked as a postdoc researcher on protein engineering with professor David A. Tirrell at the University of Massachusetts. In 1997 van Hest started working at DSM (Geleen), first as a researcher and later as group head in the development of new material concepts. In 2000 Van Hest was appointed as full professor at Radboud University Nijmegen. As of September 2016 he holds the chair of Bio-organic Chemistry at TU/e. Over 30 PhD candidates have gained their doctorates under his supervision. He has published over 300 scientific articles (H-index 57) and is (co-)inventor of 17 patents and patent applications. Jan van Hest is also the joint founder of the start-ups Encapson, FutureChemistry, Noviosense and Noviotech.
A virus-based biocatalystNature Nanotechnology (2007)
Autonomous movement of platinum-loaded stomatocytesNature Chemistry (2012)
Cascade reactions in multicompartmentalized polymersomesAngewandte Chemie - International Edition (2014)
Current Educational Activities
- sceretary of the board of Stichting Van ’t Hoff fonds, under auspices of KNAW, Stichting Van ’t Hoff fonds
- bevordering van de organische chemie in Eindhoven, voorzitter, E.W, Meijer Stichting