Photo of Jaap Goudsmit

Jaap Goudsmit, MD, PhD

CSO, Human Immunomics Initiative; Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology and Immunology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Jaap Goudsmit is a Dutch scientist and nonfiction writer, best known for his research on AIDS and influenza.

In 1978, Jaap Goudsmit received his MD degree with honors from the University of Amsterdam. He was awarded a Fogarthy Fellowship of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. and started to study the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease at the laboratory of D. Carleton Gajdusek, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1976. In 1982, Goudsmit was awarded a PhD degree from the University of Amsterdam and in 1983 he was board certified as a medical microbiologist. In 1989, he joined the faculty of medicine of the University of Amsterdam as professor of virology.

Goudsmit was head of the retrovirology department at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam from 1996 to 2002, and during that period he was chair of the AMC Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and chair of the AMC Institute of Science Education. Goudsmit was one of the principal investigators of the Amsterdam Cohort Studies on HIV infection and AIDS among homosexual men and intravenous drug users.

In 2002, he joined the Dutch biotech Crucell headquartered in Leiden as chief medical officer and head of vaccine research and development. From 2002 to 2012, Goudsmit was professor of poverty-related communicable diseases at the Internal Medicine Department of the AMC in Amsterdam. In 2003, he was promoted to chief scientific officer at Crucell and elected to the management board. In 2011, Crucell was acquired by Johnson & Johnson and became the Center of Excellence for Vaccines. Goudsmit became a member of the leadership committee of Crucell from 2011 to 2012 and was chief scientific officer of Crucell from 2003 to 2012.

In 2012, Janssen Pharmaceuticals of Johnson & Johnson split and created two entities: Crucell-Janssen Vaccines, with the focus on vaccines against infectious diseases, and the Crucell Vaccine Institute, the Janssen Center of Excellence for Immunoprophylaxis, with the focus on the discovery and invention of vaccines against diseases that come with age. Goudsmit was appointed in 2012 as director and chief scientist of the Crucell Vaccine Institute. The same year, 2012 , he was appointed professor of vaccinology and immunoprophylaxis at the Internal Medicine Department of the Academic Medical Center at the University of Amsterdam.

Goudsmit was the founding chair of the scientific advisory committee of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and has been member of the IAVI board. He was also the co-founder, jointly with Marc Girard of France, of the European AIDS Vaccine initiative, Eurovac.

Since 1981, Goudsmit has co-authored more than 500 scientific publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including multiple times in the top science weekly published in the U.S., Science, and the one published in the U.K., Nature. Breakthrough papers include studies of HIV vaccines performed jointly with Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., and studies of influenza antibodies performed in collaboration with the Scripps Institute in La Jolla, Calif. One Science paper published in 1990 with Goudsmit as senior author created a controversy in the Netherlands and concerned a study of the blocking of HIV replication by antisense DNA. Despite the fact that Goudsmit had to retract this paper, he was chosen by his peers in 1993 as one of the best European AIDS scientists and is still one of the most productive and most-cited virologists worldwide.

Goudsmit wrote several nonfiction books in Dutch and English. In 1997, Oxford University Press published his history of AIDS and AIDS research, “Viral Sex, the Nature of AIDS” and in 2004 his history of the emergence of new infections with the title “Viral Fitness, the Next SARS and West Nile in the Making.” He is currently working on the history of vaccines and his personal experiences of the last 33 years, with the tentative title, “The Vaccine Bug.”

Goudsmit holds joint CSO positions at both the Human Immunomics Initiative and the Human Vaccines Project, and has been appointed as adjunct professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.