Jan Hoeijmakers: of young spirits and genes


Of young spirits and genes

What DNA repair can teach us about ageing

Our DNA is constantly being damaged, for example by UV radiation and toxins. Lucky for us, our DNA can also repair itself. The Jan Hoeijmakers Group at the Erasmus Medical Centre researches these repair processes. It turns out they have impact on cancer development, as well as on ageing mechanisms. Can the key to living happily and healthily be found on this micro level?

This video was made in the context of the KNAW Award Academy Professors. In 2011, the KNAW first granted this award, which went to geneticist Jan Hoeijmakers (Erasmus MC) and economical historian Jan Luiten van Zanden (Utrecht University). The awards is for one million Euro, are to be dedicated to scientific work and are conceived as lifetime achievement awards.


This video is only available in English.


Jan Hoeijmakers

Geneticist Jan Hoeijmakers (1951), known to a wide audience as the professor of ageing, is the world’s most important expert in the field of DNA repair. Since 1993 he is professor Molecular Genetics at Erasmus MC. The Academy Professor Award is granted to him because of his innovative research on cancer and ageing.


  • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
  • European Research Council
  • Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen


Produced by: Fast Facts
With the support of: KNAW

Thanks to Jan Hoeijmakers, Ad Willeboordse, Dick Bootsma, Lieneke Uittenboogaard, Irene van Houten, KNAW, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Made by: Marieke Aafjes 2011
In cooperation with
Camera & editing: Frithmedia
Graphic design: Sproets
Music: Daan van West