It is with great sadness that we have been
informed about the recent passing of one of EBMT’s founding and honorary
members, Prof. Jon van Rood on July 21st. With our deepest sympathy
our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.
Since his finding in 1958 that pregnancy is able
to induce leucocyte antibodies, he has made many important contributions to the
field of histocompatibility and immunogenetics. He was the first using a
computer to analyse a larger number of serological reactions in order to be
able to detect some of the first HLA alleles like 4a and 4b, now called Bw4 and
Bw6. He recognised the importance of HLA typing and introduced it into
transfusion and transplantation medicine.
Jon worked most of his career at Leiden
University Medical Center (LUMC, Leiden, Netherlands). He was a pioneer in
translational immunology, an outstanding scientist in the field of
transplantation medicine, a founder of the European Federation of Immunogenetics
(EFI), a founder of the Eurotransplant International Foundation, and most
importantly to our community a founder of the European group for Bone Marrow
Transplantation (EBMT) that has now matured into the world-leading European
society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
Until the very end of his life and long after
his retirement from his academic position, Dr J van Rood remained active within
EBMT, and particularly within the EBMT CTIWP, of which he was honorary chair:
he participated in one of their most recent teleconferences, discussing the
presentation and publication of observations on the role of IPA and NIMA in the
outcome of hematopoietic cell transplantation, thus pursuing the deciphering of
one of his favorite topics: the immune repertoire of mothers and children, and
how these affect the outcome of organ and cell transplantations.
Through his personal scientific achievements, Jon
has inspired several generations of young scientists. This was reflected in the
creation several years ago of the Jon van Rood award, delivered during the Immunobiology
Working Party then CTIWP Session at the EBMT Annual Meeting: the award recognises
a top-level publication authored by a junior investigator during the year preceding the annual
meeting. Recent recipients of the Jon van Rood award include:
- 2010: Luca Vago, Katharina
Fleishhauer: “Loss of mismatched HLA as a mechanism of leukaemia immune escape
in family haploidentical and unrelated haematopoietic stem cell transplantation”.
N Engl J Med. 2009 Jul 30; 361(5):478-88.
- 2011: Cristina Cunha: “Dectin-1 Y238X polymorphism
associates with susceptibility to invasive aspergillosis in hematopoietic
transplantation through impairment of both recipient- and donor-dependent
mechanisms of antifungal immunity”. Blood.
2010 Dec 9; 116(24):5394-402.
doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-04-279307. Epub 2010 Aug 31.
- 2012: Oliver C. Goodyear: “Azacitidine
augments expansion of regulatory T cells after allogeneic stem cell
transplantation in patients with acute myeloid leukemia" Blood. 2012 Apr 5;119(14):3361-9. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-09-377044.
Epub 2012 Jan 10.
- 2013: Nicoletta Cieri: “IL-7
and IL-15 instruct the generation of human memory stem T cells from naive
precursors”. Blood. 2013 Jan 24; 121(4):573-84. doi:
10.1182/blood-2012-05-431718. Epub 2012 Nov 15.
- 2013: Anita N. Kremer: Endogenous HLA class II epitopes that
are immunogenic in vivo show distinct behavior toward HLA-DM and its natural
inhibitor HLA-DO. Blood. 2012 Oct 18; 120(16):3246-55. doi:
10.1182/blood-2011-12-399311. Epub 2012 Aug 13.
- 2014: Sanja Stevanovic HLA class II upregulation during viral
infection leads to HLA-DP-directed graft-versus-host disease afterCD4+ donor lymphocyte infusion. Blood. 2013 Sep
- 2015: Robert Zeiser, Lukas Martin Schwab: “Neutrophil granulocytes recruited upon
translocation of intestinal bacteria enhance graft-versus-host disease via
tissue damage”. Nat
Med. 2014 Jun; 20(6):648-54.
- 2015: Mathias Hauri-Hohl: “A regulatory role for TGF- signaling in the establishment and function of the thymic medulla”. Nat
Immunol. 2014 Jun;
15(6):554-61. doi: 10.1038/ni.2869.
- 2016: Yael Zlotnikov Klionsky: “Perforin-Positive
Dendritic Cells Exhibit an Immunoregulatory Role in Metabolic Syndrome and
Autoimmunity”. Immunity. 2015 Oct 20; 43(4):776-87. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.08.015.
- 2017: Sabrina RAVENS. Hannover
Medical School, Germany. “Human γδ
T cells are quickly reconstituted after stem cell transplantation and show
adaptive clonal expansion after viral infection”. Nat Immunol. 2017 Apr; 18(4):393-401. doi: 10.1038/ni.3686. Epub
2017 Feb 20.
He will be remembered by the EBMT as a great hero and a true legend in the
field of transplant. An inspiration to us all.