In memoriam Professor Em. Jan G. van den Tweel (1942–2020)

We acknowledge with great dismay and sorrow the death of Em. Professor Jan G. van den Tweel (Fig. 1) on February 14, 2020. Shortly before his death, he attended our Working Group Meeting of the European Society of Pathology (ESP) in Vienna. He gave us a lecture about the importance of Gerard van Swieten—the manuscript of his talk is published in this special issue of the Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift.

Fig. 1

Professor Jan G. van den Tweel

From 1991 to 2003, Prof. van den Tweel was head of the Pathology Department at UMC Utrecht. During his active working life (for overview see the Appendix) he specialized in haematopathology and autopsy pathology. He engaged himself enormously in education and training and played a prominent role in the creation of the new medical curriculum of the University in Utrecht. For many years, Prof. van den Tweel was Chairman of the Examination Committee and Vice Chairman of the day-to-day management of Central Education Committee.

At the European level, he acted as chairman of the examination board of the European Board of Pathology who introduced the European pathology exam. He was President of the European Bone Marrow Working Group, founder and President of the European Association of Pathology Chairs and Residency Program Directors. He published more than 180 articles and supervised many PhD theses. Because of his efforts in the field of education, he was appointed Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau in 2008, and in 2018 he received the Pompe Medal from the Dutch Association for Pathology.

After his retirement, he focused also on the history of medicine and was for a few years the Chairman of the ESP Working Group of History of Pathology. In this position, he organized several symposia together with the local meeting committees e.g. in Florence (Gabriella Nesi & Raffaella Santi) and Padua (Gaetano Thiene & Fabio Zampieri). In 2017, the volume entitled Pioneers in Pathology (Springer), part of the Encyclopedia of Pathology, was released with Jan van den Tweel as editor. But more than this, as co-editor and author, he published the beautifully illustrated book From Magic to Molecules. For me personally and for many of our colleagues, his passing means the loss of a valued and amiable person, and we will miss him very much. Our condolences go out to his family and close friends.

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Correspondence to Univ.-Prof. Dr. Roland Sedivy MLS.

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Short curriculum vitae


  • Physician, Netherlands, 2 July 1971, University Utrecht

  • PhD degree, 7 December, 1971, University Utrecht

  • Physician, USA, 5 November 1979, State of California

  • Haematopathology Fellow, Los Angeles, July 1976–April 1978

  • Pathology, Netherlands/EU, May 1, 1974–July 1, 1978


  • LUMC Bloodbank & Immunohematology (1971–1974)

    • Head section cellular immunology

  • LUMC Department of Pathology (1974–1978)

    • Trainee in pathology (1974–1978 including 20 months fellowship hematopathology at USC, Los Angeles)

  • Atrium Hospital Heerlen (1978–1986)

    • Pathologist (department head)

  • AMC Amsterdam (1986–1990)

    • Director of surgical pathology

    • Residency program director (1987–1990)

    • Acting chairman (1988–1990)

  • Delftse Ziekenhuizen (nov 1990–mei 1991)

    • Chair Pathology/Program Director

Departmental/Division functions

  • Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pathology UMC Utrecht (1991–2004)

  • Program Director Pathology (1991–2012)

  • Vice chairman management team Laboratory Division UMC (1993–1996)

  • Staff pathologist (especially autopsy, hematopathology and breast pathology; since 2007)

  • Functions in the Medical School/University (selection)

    • Chairman Board of Examiners (1993–2012)

    • Member committee for acceptance of foreign doctors

    • Coordinator/examiner oncology courses (GZC 2)

    • Coordinator/examiner General Pathology courses SUMMA

    • Coordinator/examiner progress test for year 4–5 medical students

    • Replacing Rector Magnificus at academic promotions (2005–present)

  • International functions (selection)

    • Secretary Specialist Section Pathology European Union of Medical Specialists (1991–2002)

    • Coordinator European pathology examination for pathology residents (1998–2007)

    • President European Association of Pathology Chairs and Residency Program Directors (2005–2009)

    • Coordinator EU Lifelong Learning programme: EUROPALS (2007–2010)

    • President British Division International Academy of Pathology (2002–2004)

    • Member Finance Committee of the International Academy of Pathology

    • Treasurer Netherlands Soc of Pathology (1994–1997)

    • President (and founder) European Bone Marrow Working Group (1993–2003)

    • Member European Pathologists Panel for Paediatric Myelodysplastic Syndromes (1995–2012)

    • President History of Pathology Society (USA) (2007–2008)

    • President Working Group “History of Pathology” of the European Society of Pathology (2008–2015)

    • Member review committee pathology professorships King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi-Arabia (1998–present)

    • External examiner specialist examinations Zimbabwe 1998

    • Visiting professor Kilimajaro Christian Medical Hospital/University, Moshi, Tanzania (26 weeks, 2012–2015)

    • Visiting professor American University of the Caribbean (May 2015)

  • Editorial/review functions (all present)

    • Editorial Board Applied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular pathology

    • Editorial Board Current Diagnostic Pathology

    • Editorial Board Pathology Research International

    • Reviewer Journal of Clinical Pathology

    • Reviewer Virchow’s Archiv

    • Reviewer Diagnostic Pathology

  • Memberships (selection)

    • Several Dutch medical and pathological societies

    • European Society of Pathology

    • British Division International Academy of Pathology (president 2002–2004, honorary member)

    • History of Pathology Society USA

    • European Association for Hematopathology

    • European Bone marrow working group

  • Promovendi: 21; Member PhD evaluation committees >100


  • Articles: >180

  • Books: 4

  • Lectures at international meeting >250

  • Organisation:

    • President XVI European Congress of Pathology, Maastricht, Netherlands 1997

    • President XXIV International Congress of the IAP, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2002

    • Several smaller congresses

    • >50 symposia at international congresses

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Sedivy, R. In memoriam Professor Em. Jan G. van den Tweel (1942–2020). Wien Med Wochenschr (2020).

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