In remembrance: Jan Schepens

Schepens, jan.jpg

We mourn with great sorrow the premature death of our beloved colleague Jan T.G. Schepens, Dept. of Cell Biology, who passed away last weekend at the age of 56 years.

Jan was a very dedicated, talented, patient and warm-hearted person who served the Radboudumc molecular life science community for more than 32 years. In 1984, Jan started working as a freshly educated molecular biology research technician at the department of Human Genetics. With astonishing efficiency and speed, he learned to master the latest in molecular genetic techniques, and no wonder he was invited to join professor Bé Wieringa after his appointment and move to the department of Cell Biology in 1990. Having acquainted himself with genomic cloning and library screening techniques, Jan acted centre stage in the Cell Biology endeavours to use reverse genetics approaches for the generation of transgenic and knock-out mouse models for disease. In this role, under the direct guidance of dr. Wiljan Hendriks, Jan contributed to numerous publications and thesis studies, helping many Ph.D. students and post-docs from within the RadboudUMC organisation. From 2000 onward, Jan specialized in the tailoring and use of expression vectors to modify protein levels in cell models of disease. His perseverance, unrivalled skills and ever present intrinsic drive and motivation made him a beacon for all those who were facing cloning difficulties. As a result, Jan’s name is mentioned in numerous acknowledgements in PhD thesis manuscripts, thanking him for his often crucial contributions. He is a co-author in over fifty scientific papers, and we would have loved to see him continue his productive and collaborative work healthy and happily for at least eleven more years. Over the past few years, however, Jan lost the ability to cope with the many difficulties of life. A permanent dejected mood kept him from using his sense of humour to bring things back in perspective. In the end, neither his family nor we could reach him anymore. We have to respect his decision to leave this world and deeply regret that we cannot have Jan back at our department. We all profoundly miss his collaborative friendly attitude, his sense of humour and warm personality.

Our thoughts are with his wife Thera, his children Lisette and Jeroen, other relatives and close friends.

Radboudumc,

On behalf of the Cell Biology department,
Prof. Alessandra Cambi, department head

 


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