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Research Department of Genetics Staff
University Medical Center Groningen

Jan C. Oosterwijk, MD, PhD

Clinical geneticist, Principal investigator
Dr Jan C. Oosterwijk
Dr Jan C. Oosterwijk

Study: MD, Free University (VU), Amsterdam, 1986
Registered clinical geneticist, University Medical Centre Utrecht/Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, 1991
PhD thesis: Fetal Cells in Maternal Blood, Leiden University, 1998


Papers by J.C. Oosterwijk in PubMed, GoogleScholar
Profiles: Researchgate, LinkedIn
Keywords: oncogenetics, hereditary breast cancer, hereditary ovarian cancer, BRCA1, BRCA2, genetic counselling, HEBON , education
Extracurricular: plays the tenor sax in the department's jazz combo GeneXpress

"It Is What It Is"
A personal comment on genetic counselling. Oosterwijk JC. J Clin Oncol. 2016;34(11):1278-80

Short CV

Jan C. (Cornelis) Oosterwijk trained as a clinical geneticist at Utrecht University and the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital. He worked in Leiden University Medical Centre for 4 years, mainly on dysmorphology and prenatal diagnosis. After moving to the University Medical Centre Groningen in 1996, he focussed on clinical oncogenetics, combining clinical practice with research and teaching & training.

He was a board member of the Dutch Clinical Genetics Society (VKGN), chaired numerous VKGN committees, and was clinical genetics representative in the Medical Specialists’ Registration Board (MSRC) of the Royal Dutch Medical Society (KNMG).

He is also a member of the medical staff of Leeuwarden Medical Centre. He has been formally involved in the training of specialists in clinical genetics in the UMCG for 12 years, and in national training programmes of specialists in adjacent medical disciplines (internal medicine, gynaecology, oncology, pediatrics). He currently teaches part of the MD curriculum (both on genetics and problem solving) and is a trainer in the regional teach-the-teacher programme.

My motivation

I find working with patients and families, trying to answer their genetic and oncogenetic questions very inspiring. These questions challenge me to keep up-to-date in knowledge, and to be accurate and understandable in counselling. Moreover, if a clear answer is not available, these questions generate research ideas and projects that may lead to new knowledge. This increases our insight, which may be applicable in subsequent genetic counselling sessions, where new questions arise. It is stimulating to involve and coach young researchers in these quests: translating clinical issues into research projects and research results back into clinical applications.

Scientific contribution and publications

My main clinical and scientific interest is hereditary and familial cancer, with a focus on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. I am involved in studies covering the area from molecular diagnosis, genetic counselling, risk assessment and communication, screening and cancer prevention. This requires close collaboration with other disciplines (molecular genetics, surgery, gynaecology, epidemiology, medical oncology) in the UMCG, as well as national and international collaborations, mainly through the Dutch joint study on Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Netherlands (Hebon), which I have chaired since 2010.

I have given several invited lectures at international meetings, such as those of the NL and UK Clinical Genetics Societies, the IMPACT consortium, the British Society of Human Genetics and the Indonesian National Cancer Society.

As co-editor I was involved in the latest Dutch text book on medical genetics: Leerboek Medische Genetica, Bijlsma EK, Oosterwijk JC, et al. (editors), Reed Business, Amsterdam 2005, 7th edition 2011, ISBN 9789035227705. I further supervise several genetic counsellors, medical students, psychologists-in-training and PhD students, which usually leads to peer-reviewed publications in international journals.

To date, I have more than 130 peer-reviewed publications listed in Pubmed, including some in high-impact journals like NEJM, Lancet, J MedGenet, Nature Genetics, J Clin Oncol and Brit J Cancer. These papers have been cited over 3500 times, leading to an H-index of 31 in Web of Knowledge and 37 in Google Scholar.

Selected papers

Last modified:10 July 2018 3.10 p.m.