Born (1957) and raised in the south of the Netherlands, Clevers studied biochemistry and medicine in Utrecht. After an immunology PhD (1985), he trained as molecular biologist through a 4 year Harvard postdoc. Back in Utrecht (1989), he became professor in immunology at the university hospital, director of the Hubrecht Institute for developmental biology (2002), and finally research director of the Princess Maxima Center for childhood cancer (2015). As president of the Royal Netherlands Academy (KNAW), he founded the Academy of Arts.
His work on the developmental signaling pathway Wnt led him to discoveries in the cancer and stem cell fields, ultimately resulting in technologies to grow human stem cells into mini-organs (organoids) in a dish.
His work was awarded amongst others with the Louis Jeantet Prize and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. Clevers is a member of multiple learned societies including the KNAW, the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, the Academie Francaise, the Orden pour les Merites of Germany, and the Royal Society. He holds knighthoods in Holland, France and Germany.
Since March 2022, Hans is the Head of the Roche Pharmaceutical Research and Early Development (pRED) and a member of the enlarged Corporate Executive Committee. He also remains involved with his previous research groups at the Hubrecht Institute and the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology as an advisor/ guest researcher.