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” . 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.
 Pancras Hoogendoorn, Michiel Kreutzer, Jacques Neefjes, Herman Overkleeft, In Memoriam Professor Huib Ovaa, Leiden University May 20, 2020.
- Development of Ubiquitin‐Based Probe for Metalloprotease Deubiquitinases,
Dharjath S. Hameed, Aysegul Sapmaz, Lindsey Burggraaff, Alessia Amore, Cornelis J. Slingerland, Gerard J. P. van Westen, Huib Ovaa,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019.
- One-Step Chemical Synthesis of Native Met1-Linked Poly-Ubiquitin Chains,
Gerbrand J. van der Heden van Noort, Cami Talavera Ormeño, Duco van Dalen, Huib Ovaa,
- A Fluorescence Polarization Activity-Based Protein Profiling Assay in the Discovery of Potent, Selective Inhibitors for Human Nonlysosomal Glucosylceramidase,
Daniël Lahav, Bing Liu, Richard J. B. H. N. van den Berg, Adrianus M. C. H. van den Nieuwendijk, Tom Wennekes, Amar T. Ghisaidoobe, Imogen Breen, Maria J. Ferraz, Chi-Lin Kuo, Liang Wu, Paul P. Geurink, Huib Ovaa, Gijsbert A. van der Marel, Mario van der Stelt, Rolf G. Boot, Gideon J. Davies, Johannes M. F. G. Aerts, Herman S. Overkleeft,
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139(40), 14192–14197.
- Design and use of conditional MHC class I ligands,
Mireille Toebes, Miriam Coccoris, Adriaan Bins, Boris Rodenko, Raquel Gomez, Nella J. Nieuwkoop, Willeke van de Kasteele, Guus F. Rimmelzwaan, John B A G Haanen, Huib Ovaa, Ton N. M. Schumacher,
Nature Medicine 2016, 12, 246–251.
- Nonhydrolyzable Ubiquitin−Isopeptide Isosteres as Deubiquitinating Enzyme Probes,
A. Shanmugham, A. Fish, M. P. A. Luna-Vargas, A. C. Faesen, F. El Oualid, T. K. Sixma, H. Ovaa,
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 8834–8835.
- Development of an Activity-Based Probe for Autotaxin,
Silvia Cavalli, Anna J. S. Houben, Harald M. H. G. Albers, Erica W. van Tilburg, Arnoud de Ru, Junken Aoki, Peter van Veelen, Wouter H. Moolenaar, Huib Ovaa,
- Generation of peptide–MHC class I complexes through UV-mediated ligand exchange,
Boris Rodenko, Mireille Toebes, Sine Reker Hadrup, Wim J. E. van Esch, Annemieke M. Molenaar, Ton N. M. Schumacher, Huib Ova,
Nature Protocols 2006, 1, 1120–1132.
- An expeditious route to the synthesis of highly functionalized chiral oxepines from monosaccharides,
Huib Ovaa, Michiel A Leeuwenburgh, Herman S. Overkleeft, Gijs A. van der Marel, Jacques H. van Boom,
Tetrahedron Letters 1998, 39(19), 3025-3028.