Huib Ovaa (1973 – 2020)

  • Author: ChemistryViews
  • Published Date: 22 May 2020
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
thumbnail image: Huib Ovaa (1973 – 2020)

Professor Huib Ovaa, Leiden University, The Netherlands, passed away on May 19, 2020. He will be remembered as an "creative researcher who continuously and effortlessly crossed boundaries between chemistry and biology" [1]. He is well-known for his work on the biochemistry of ubiquitin.


Huib Ovaa was born on December 18, 1973. He studied chemistry at Leiden University from 1993 to 1997, and received her Ph.D. in 2001 in organic chemistry from the same university. After post-doctoral research at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA, Huib Ovaa joined the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI-AVL), Amsterdam, Netherlands, as Group Leader in 2004. In 2012, he was appointed Honorary Professor at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC), Leiden University.  Since 2017, Huib Ovaa is Professor at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Netherlands. Together with Professor Jacques Neefjes, he also supervised the Department of Chemical immunology.

Among other honors, Huib Ovaa was awarded with the NVBMB award of the Netherlands Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (NVBMB) in 2008, the Amsterdam Innovator Award 2009, and the KNCV Gold Medal in 2011, awarded each year by the Royal Dutch Chemical Society (KNCV, Koninklijke Nederlandse Chemische Vereniging) to the most successful Dutch chemist less than 40 years of age.

[1] Pancras Hoogendoorn, Michiel Kreutzer, Jacques Neefjes, Herman Overkleeft, In Memoriam Professor Huib Ovaa, Leiden University May 20, 2020.


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