Jaap Goudsmit

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Jaap Goudsmit (born 22 July 1951 in Amsterdam) is Dutch scientist, known for his research in the field of AIDS and influenza. Recently he shifted his research interest to neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's Disease. He is also a prolific writer of non-fiction books: Viral Sex, the Nature of AIDS (1997); Viral Fitness, the Next SARS and West Nile in the Making (2004); Serendipity Manual (2012); The Vaccine Bug, a personal history of the World of Immunity (2013); Immorbidity Alphabet, Spelling-out a life free of dis-ease (2015); The Time of your Life, Staying healthy to the End (2016) and The Art of Facing Mortality, a scientist's view (2016).

Jaap Goudsmit was among the first in 1986 who discovered that the amount of HIV in blood predicted the progression to clinically manifest AIDS and he discovered in 2008 the achillesheel of the influenza virus that opened the way towards a universal influenza vaccine. In 2013 Goudsmit coined the concept "Immorbidity" for a human life course immune to age-related diseases that prematurely end life, accepting that even with a minimum of disease human life ends. In 2000 the science-fiction writer Wil McCarthy introduced the term " immorbidity " in his book " The Collapsium" as the concept to eradicate all terminal illness during time transport over lightyears making the transported people virtually immortal.

In 1978 Jaap Goudsmit received his MD degree with honor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Amsterdam. He was awarded a Fogarty fellowship, and joined the research on kuru with Nobel Prize winner Daniel Carleton Gajdusek. He received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 1982. He received a Fogarty Visiting Scientist Award to do postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1983 Jaap Goudsmit became board certified in the Netherlands as a Medical Microbiologist. From 1989 -2001 he was professor in virology at the University of Amsterdam. One Science paper published in 1990 with Jaap Goudsmit as senior author created a controversy in the Netherlands and concerned a study of blocking of HIV replication by antisense DNA. Despite the fact that Jaap Goudsmit had to retract this paper, he was chosen by his peers in a 1993 Science article as one of the best European AIDS scientists and is still one of the most productive and most cited virologist worldwide.

Jaap Goudsmit was appointed professor of virology in 1989 at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, a position he held till 2001. He has been head of the Department of Human Retrovirology at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam from 1996 to 2002 and chairman of the AMC Research Institute for Infectious Diseases and the AMC Institute for Science Education. From 1984 -2001 he was one of the principal researcher of the Amsterdam Cohort Studies on HIV infection and AIDS among homosexual men and HIV drug users. From 2001-2016 Jaap Goudsmit was professor of vaccinology and immunoprophylaxis in the department of Internal Medicine at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam and in 2016 he became professor of Pathogenesis and natural history of Neurodegenerative diseases in the Department of Neurology, Amsterdam Neuroscience, Academic Medical Center. In 2016 Jaap Goudsmit was appointed professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health.

He chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and has been a member of its board. He was project leader and (co)chair of Eurovacc Foundation. In 2002 Jaap Goudsmit joined Crucell, a biotechnology company in Leiden, as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Vaccine Research and Development. From 2004 -2011 he was Chief Scientific Officer of Crucell and member of the Management Board. When Crucell was acquired by Johnson and Johnson Jaap Goudsmit became head of the Crucell Vaccine Institute from 2011-2015, an institute focusing on influenza research. In 2015 he became global head of the Janssen Prevention Center, that focuses on the prevention of non-communicable diseases with a special emphasis on prognostic markers for age-related diseases. In 2017 Jaap Goudsmit retired from Johnson & Johnson and returned to academia to study Alzheimer's Disease and Ageing.

Goudsmit is a very productive researcher and author or co-author of more than 550 scientific publications of which nine appeared in Science and six in Nature. According to the Institute for Scientific Information, he entered the list of most-cited scientists in 2001. In 2016 Jaap Goudsmit received a honorary degree from the Vrije University and the Vrije University Medical Center for his lifetime achievements in science both in academia and the biofarmaceutical Industry.


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