Hannes Lans

Hannes Lans is an associate professor at the Department of Molecular Genetics, Erasmus MC. His research focuses on DNA repair mechanisms, in particular nucleotide excision repair (NER) and interstrand crosslink repair (ICLR), in relation to disease. NER and ICLR are major DNA repair pathways that remove many types of helix-distorting DNA lesions and DNA crosslinks from the genome. NER and ICLR are therefore essential to protect against cancer and aging.

Hannes Lans received his PhD from the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in 2005, where he studied sensory signaling in the nematode C. elegans in the lab of dr. Gert Jansen. After this, he joined the lab of Prof. dr. Wim Vermeulen to study NER. In 2008, he received a prestigious Veni grant from the Dutch Scientific Organization with which he set up his own research line utilizing C. elegans as in vivo DNA repair model, to investigate cell type specific mechanisms and impact of the DNA damage response. He demonstrated that NER is functionally strongly conserved in this organism and that different cell types rely on different NER subpathways: germ cells maintain their entire genome through GG-NER while post-mitotic, somatic cells maintain active genes through TC-NER.  Work with C. elegans furthermore led to the discovery that various ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes, including ISWI and SWI/SNF, play important and varying roles in the DNA damage response, in  in both C. elegans as well as in mammals. Follow up work showed that these complexes act to promote different transcription-coupled DNA repair systems. Hannes Lans furthermore investigates molecular mechanisms of mammalian NER and ICLR with a particular focus on how DNA repair protects against disease and how its deficiency leads to specific disease features. Specifically, Hannes Lans also studies how NER and ICLR protect cancer cells against cancer therapy.


For his research, Hannes Lans received multiple research grants including from the Dutch Scientific Organization, Worldwide Cancer Research and the Dutch Cancer Society.

Hannes Lans teaches in the Nanobiology BSc and MSc program of Erasmus University and Delft University of Technology, for which he is course manager and lecturer of the Genetics course and the Project Development course. He is also lecturer in the Molecular Medicine MSc program of Erasmus MC.