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06Dec 2019

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Cancer researcher Piet Borst to receive honorary doctorate from the University of Bern, Switzerland

On Saturday 7 December, the University of Bern will award an honorary doctorate to Piet Borst, staff member and former director of the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Dr Borst is also emeritus professor of clinical biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Amsterdam. 

Borst will be awarded a doctorate for his ground-breaking research into cellular organelles such as mitochondria, sleeping sickness pathogens, the drug resistance of cancer cells, and for his contributions to research and research assessment in Switzerland. He has a long-standing history with the city of Bern. It was the site of his cooperation with parasitologists in the 1980s and the university awarded him the Dr Albert Wander Prize in 1990. The prize was also known as the "heisse Ovi Preis" because Wander earned a living by producing and selling Ovomaltine.

In recent years Dr Borst worked closely with Professor Sven Rottenberg, a former postdoc in the Borst group, now a professor in Bern. This cooperation is a continuation of the study into chemotherapy resistance, initiated by Rottenberg during his time in the Borst Group at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Borst was a co-supervisor for a PhD candidate who was under the supervision of Rottenberg, and he also frequently contributed to the assessment of grant applications at the Bern headquarters of the Swiss counterpart to the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Dr Borst was previously awarded honorary doctorates by the Universities of Dundee, Scotland, and Leiden, the Netherlands. ​

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