Hannes Lans

Hannes Lans is an associate professor at the Department of Molecular Genetics, Erasmus MC. His research focuses on the mechanism and regulation of nucleotide excision repair (NER) and other DNA repair pathways. NER is a major DNA repair pathway that removes many types of helix-distorting DNA lesions from the genome and is 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 roundworm 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 model organism to study the DNA damage response. He found that NER is functionally strongly conserved in this organism but interestingly shows a striking difference between cell types in vivo: germ cells maintain their entire genome whereas post-mitotic, somatic cells only maintain active genes.

Work with C. elegans also led to the discovery of ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes, like ISWI and SWI/SNF, that are important for nucleotide excision repair in both C. elegans as well as in mammals. Furthermore, Hannes Lans studies mammalian nucleotide excision repair, focusing on its mechanism, on the pathogenesis associated with inherited NER deficiency and on the protective role of NER and other DNA repair mechanisms in response to cancer chemotherapeutic drugs.

Hannes Lans teaches in the Nanobiology BSc program of Erasmus University and Delft University of Technology, where he is course manager and lecturer of Genetics. He also lectures in courses of the Nanobiology MSc and the Molecular Medicine MSc program of Erasmus MC, of which he is faculty member.

Hannes Lans is member of the GENie network of C. elegans early-stage researchers and young principal investigators.