• 15327 Citations
1992 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile


"Creating molecular assemblies with life-like properties is not only of crucial importance to better understand the living cell, but also leads to the design of the next generation adaptive materials."

Research profile

Jan van Hest works at the cutting edge of (polymer) chemistry and biomedicine. He focuses on the design and synthesis of bio-inspired peptide-based materials and the development of conjugation methods for the preparation of biohybrid systems. The objective of his research is to construct smart compartments with life-like features, which develops along two main lines of research: nanomedicine and artificial cells and organelles.

The nanomedicine research line in particular concerns medicine transport systems and synthetic vaccines. Using a combination of techniques from polymer science to protein engineering, well-defined carriers and scaffolds are developed for application in e.g. cancer treatment, immunology and ophthalmology.

Van Hest is also active in the field of artificial and hybrid cells where he designs and constructs adaptive nano- and microcompartments that simulate living cells. His artificial nanoreactors can be incorporated as artificial organelles in living cells to complement or affect cellular processes.

Academic background

Jan van Hest obtained his PhD in macro-organic chemistry with professor Bert Meijer from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in 1996. He then worked as a postdoc researcher on protein engineering with professor David A. Tirrell at the University of Massachusetts. In 1997 van Hest started working at DSM (Geleen), first as a researcher and later as group head in the development of new material concepts. In 2000 Van Hest was appointed as full professor at Radboud University Nijmegen. As of September 2016 he holds the chair of Bio-organic Chemistry at TU/e. Over 30 PhD candidates have gained their doctorates under his supervision. He has published over 300 scientific articles (H-index 57) and is (co-)inventor of 17 patents and patent applications. Jan van Hest is also the joint founder of the start-ups Encapson, FutureChemistry, Noviosense and Noviotech.

Affiliated with

  • Gravitation program Functional Molecular Systems
  • ICMS
  • PTN (postgraduate education polymer technology the Netherlands)

Partners in (semi-)industry

  • Zoetis
  • GSK

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Research Output

A virus-based biocatalyst

Carette, N., Engelkamp, H., Akpa, E., Pierre, S. J., Cameron, N. R., Christianen, P. C. M., Maan, J. C., Thies, J. C., Weberskirch, R., Rowan, A. E., Nolte, R. J. M., Michon, T. & van Hest, J. C. M., Apr 2007, In : Nature Nanotechnology. 2, 4, p. 226-229 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 97 Citations (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)

    Autonomous movement of platinum-loaded stomatocytes

    Wilson, D. A., Nolte, R. J. M. & van Hest, J. C. M., Apr 2012, In : Nature Chemistry. 4, 4, p. 268-274 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 320 Citations (Scopus)
    4 Downloads (Pure)

    Cascade reactions in multicompartmentalized polymersomes

    Peters, R. J. R. W., Marguet, M., Marais, S., Fraaije, M. W., van Hest, J. C. M. & Lecommandoux, S., 3 Jan 2014, In : Angewandte Chemie - International Edition. 53, 1, p. 146-150 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 251 Citations (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)

    Biomimicry of Cellular Motility and Communication Based on Synthetic Soft-Architectures

    Wang, L., Song, S., van Hest, J., Abdelmohsen, L. K. E. A., Huang, X. & Sánchez, S., 6 Apr 2020, In : Small.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

  • CD44-targeted vesicles encapsulating granzyme B as artificial killer cells for potent inhibition of human multiple myeloma in mice

    Zhong, Y., Meng, F., Zhang, W., Li, B., van Hest, J. C. M. & Zhong, Z., 10 Apr 2020, In : Journal of Controlled Release. 320, p. 421-430 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)


    Artificial endosymbiosis

    J.C.M. van Hest (Recipient), 2015

    Prize: ERCAdvancedScientific

  • Research Center for Functional Molecular Systems

    E.W. Meijer (Recipient), J.C.M. van Hest (Recipient), L. Brunsveld (Recipient), R.A.J. Janssen (Recipient) & R.P. Sijbesma (Recipient), 2013

    Prize: NWOGravitationScientific

  • Student theses

    Development of reduction responsive polymersomes for controlled drug delivery

    Author: Stam, R., 13 Nov 2018

    Supervisor: Pijpers, I. (Supervisor 1), van Hest, J. (Supervisor 2), Brunsveld, L. (Supervisor 2) & Abdelmohsen, L. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master