Prof.dr. J.H. (Hendrik) Veelken, MD PhD


  • Hematologist
  • Professor of Hematology
  • Head of Department of Hematology


Professor J.H. (Hendrik) Veelken studied medicine at the University of Mainz and graduated in 1988. He received his M.D. degree (Dr. med.) in 1988 for his thesis “Monoclonal antibodies against mast cell lines of the mouse: Development and functional studies" (magna cum laude).

He worked as a postdoctoral researcher from 1989 to 1992 in the Department of Pathology of Brigham & Women´s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston with support from a fellowship of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

He completed his training in internal medicine and hematology/oncology from 1992 to 1998 at University Medical Center Freiburg and received his board certification in 1998. Based on thesis “Genetic modification of somatic cells ex vivo for therapeutic use in hematology and oncology”, he was appointed assistant professor (Privatdozent) by the Faculty of Medicine of Freiburg University in 1998.

From 2000 to 2002, he was visiting research scholar in the Division of Oncology at the Stanford University Medical Center with support by an award fom the Max Kade Foundation.

In 2002, he was appointed as Professor of Medical Molecular Biology at University Medical Center Freiburg Freiburg. In 2010, he was appointed Professor of Internal Medicine (Hematology) and Head of the Department of Hematology at Leiden University Medical Center.

Please follow this link to read his inaugural lecture:

Research interests

His main research focus is the immunopathogenesis of malignant lymphoma. The topics studied include the role of antigen receptor signaling in the etiology of indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Related topics cover natural immunosurveillance and the mechanisms of stroma interaction as survival signals for these tumors. These interests are linked to high-resolution genomic and transcriptomic profiling to identify pathogenetically relevant genetic pathways and novel therapeutic targets.

These projects form the basis for translational research and early clinical trials for therapeutic anti-tumor vaccination in lymphomas and other malignancies.

Selected publications

  • D. Pfeifer, M. Pantic, I. Skatulla, J. Rawluk, C. Kreutz, U.M. Martens, P. Fisch, J. Timmer, H. Veelken: Genome-wide analysis of DNA copy number changes and LOH in CLL using high-density SNP arrays. Blood 109: 1202-1210, 2007 
  • C. Dierks, R. Beigi, G.R. Guo, M.R. Stegert, P. Manley, C. Trussell, K. Zirlik, A. Schmitt-Graeff, H. Veelken, M. Warmuth: Expansion of Bcr-Abl positive leukemic stem cells is dependent on hedgehog pathway activation. Cancer Cell 14: 238-249, 2008 
  • A.-M. Strothmeyer, M. Dühren-von Minden, M. Navarrete, K. Zirlik, K. Heining-Mikesch, H. Veelken: Comparative immunogenicity analysis of immunoglobulin idiotype sequences indicates T cell-mediated immunosurveillance in follicular lymphoma. Blood 116: 1734-1736, 2010
  • M. Navarrete, K. Heining-Mikesch, F. Schüler, C. Hirt, C. Bertinetti, G. Ihorst, A. Hafkemeyer, G. Dölken, H. Veelken. Immune responses and outcome of indolent B-cell lymphoma patients after upfront immunization with autologous recombinant idiotype Fab fragment. Blood 117: 1483-1491, 2011
  • P. Christopoulos, D. Pfeifer, K. Bartholomé, M. Follo, J. Timmer, P. Fisch, H. Veelken: Definition and characterization of the systemic T-cell dysregulation in untreated indolent B cell lymphoma and very early CLL. Blood 117: 3836-3846, 2011
  • M. Dühren-von Minden, R. Übelhart, D. Schneider, T. Wossning, M. Bach, M. Buchner, D. Hofmann, E. Surova, M. Follo, F. Köhler, H. Wardemann, K. Zirlik, H. Veelken, H. Jumaa: Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is driven by antigen-independent, cell autonomous signaling. Nature 489: 309-312, 2012


Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
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Kamer C2R-140

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Tel: +31 71 526 2267

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