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Professor Jelle Wesseling achieved his MD in Medicine and MSc in Chemistry, both cum laude, at the University of Groningen and at the Free University of Amsterdam. He received his PhD at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in 1997, studying the role of MUC1 (EMA) in cell adhesion, signaling and invasion in cancer, supervised by Prof. Piet Borst, Prof. Carl Figdor and Dr. John Hilkens. In 2004, he was registered as pathologist after five years of training at the University Medical Center in Groningen. Currently, he is consultant breast pathologist at the Netherlands Cancer Institute – Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and Leiden University Medical Center.
His training both as basic scientist and as practicing clinical pathologist provides the ideal skillset for combining these two worlds to achieve a comprehensive transition from bench-to-bedside. He is renowned for his open, gifted, and creative mind. Combined with his profound knowledge and expertise in breast cancer, he has significantly contributed to optimizing the prognostic and predictive power of breast pathology. He focuses on the potential breast cancer precursor Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) and invasive breast cancer (IBC). He is a very strong team player with excellent communicative skills.
His overarching research focus is to develop new strategies to substantially improve the prognostic and predictive power of breast cancer pathology and to understand the underlying biology. Ultimately, he aims to define with high accuracy who to treat, how to treat and, if so, for what benefit and so achieve the best benefit-to-harm ratio for women with DCIS and IBC.
The highlight of his career was receiving the Cancer Research UK Grand Challenge Award ‘When cancer is not really cancer’ in 2017. In partnership with KWF Dutch Cancer Society, this award comes with 20-million-dollar funding and was based on his previous DCIS research and his initiative to build a strong, multidisciplinary, global team of experts to PREvent ductal Carcinoma In SItu Overtreatment Now (PRECISION).