prof. dr. P.J. (Paul J.) van Diest

Full Professor

  • Department of Pathology

prof. dr. P.J. (Paul J.) van Diest

Research Programs


Paul J van Diest has been a dedicated cancer researcher since the start of his career, obtaining numerous grants a.o. from the NIH and the Dutch Cancer Society. He studied Medicine, did his PhD and pathology residency at the VU University medical center (VUMC) in Amsterdam. After obtaining his Board certification in Pathology in 1996, he became Consultant Pathologist at the Department of Pathology of the VUMC. In 1999 he was appointed Associate Professor and in 2001 to full Professor. In 2003 he moved to Utrecht to become Head of the Department of Pathology at the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) where he is currently still working. He is Adjunct Professor of Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Oncology Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, USA. He serves on the editorial board of >20 international journals. He has been active in the board as secretary and president of several international societies. He has published >700 papers in peer reviewed journals, personally supervised 70 PhD theses, and has an H-index of 66. The main theme of his research is finding ways for prevention, optimized diagnosis and cure of breast cancer, both the male and female forms. He is also active in the field of implementing digital pathology.

Side Activities

  • From all these activitites for the UMC Utrecht  there never is personal income, or - if there is a fee - it is for the department of pathology of Utrecht.


    Adjunct Professor of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Oncology Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, USA

    Member of the Breast Cancer Working Group of the University Medical Center Utrecht.

    Member of the European Working Group for Breast Screening Pathology

    Member of the expert panel quality indicators breast cancer

    Member of the Digital Pathology advisory board of Philips and Sectra.

    Member of the Board of the Dutch Federation for Medical Scientific Societies

    Member of the Program Committee of the Breast Screening Program.

    President elect of the European Association of Pathology Chairs and Program Directors

    Vice-director of the Pathology Residency Program of the UMC Utrecht

    Head of the Utrecht Training program for Experimental Pathobiology


    Editorial board activities

    World Journal of Surgical Procedures      

    Member of the Editorial Board of Recent Patents on Biomarkers

    Member of the Editorial Board of the Chinese Journal of Clinicians

    Associate editor of BMC Cancer

    Member of the Editorial Board of Pathology Research International

    Member of the Editorial Board of The Open Plastic Surgery Journal

    Member of the Editorial Board of The Open Prostate Journal

    Member of the Editorial Board of Laboratory Investigation

    Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research

    Member of the Editorial Board of Biotechnic and Histochemistry

    Member of the Editorial Board of Analytical and Quantitative Cytology and Histology

    Academic Editor of PlosOne

    Associate editor of the Journal of Case Reports in Medicine

    Member of the Editorial Board of World Journal of Medical Genetics

    Member of the Editorial Board of World Journal of Clinical Urology

    Member of the Editorial Board of World Journal of Surgical Procedures

    Member of the Editorial Board of Current Biomarker Findings


    Advisory boards


    2005-               Member of the breast cancer advisory board of Astra Zenica

    2008-               Member of the Digital Pathology advisory board of Philips.

    2013-               Member of the Advisory Council of the Breast Cancer Society Netherlands (BVN)

    2014-               Member of the advisory board of PathXL

    2015-               Member of the advisory board of Sectra

    Invited Speaker on (Inter)National Meetings 121 in 2003-2019: 1 only 2018-9 below for brevity reasons



    1. Sol Goldman Think-Tank Meeting on Artificial Intelligence as Applied to Pancreatic Cancer. Baltimore, MD, USA, April 16, 2018. Invited speaker.

    2. 11th joint meeting of the British Division of the International Academy of Pathology and the Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland. Maastricht, The Netherlands, June 19-22 2018. Invited speaker.

    3. 30th European Congress of Pathology, Bilbao, Spain, September 8-12, 2018. Invited speaker.

    4. Hans Peterse Lecture at the NKI breast cancer symposium 2018. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 31, 2018. Invited speaker.

    5. Digital pathology in daily practice: The current status and the future. Utrecht, The Netherlands, November 2 2018. Organizer, speaker.

    6. 84th Annual Meeting of the Swiss Society of Pathology. Lugano, Switzerland, November 10, 2018. Invited speaker.




    7. European Congress of Radiology. Vienna, Austria, Febuary 27-March 3, 2019. Invited speaker.

    8. Artificial Intelligence in 2019: Where we are now. London UK, March 22, 2019. Invited speaker.

    9. 1e Wad 'n Workshop: Mammacarcinoom, Terschelling, The Netherlands, March 24-26. Invited speaker.

    10. European Working Group of Breast Screening Pathologists. Dublin, Ireland, March 29 2019. Invited speaker.

    11. Pathology week. Veenendaal, The Netherlands, April 9-12. Invited speaker.

    12. 5th Digital Pathology & AI congress: USA. NYC, NY, USA. June 13-14, 2019. Invited speaker

    Yearly lectures 

    1 NVvO Dutch Society of Oncology

    2 ODDP, Oncology Drug Development in Practice

    3 University of Siena

    Contract research

    OncoMark Ltd. Dublin, Ireland, Euro 15,000

    Samantree Medical SA, Lausanne, Switzerland, Euro 18.000

Fellowship and Awards

  • Dutch Cancer Society (KWF)

    Health Care Efficiency Research Programme of The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)

Research Output (927)

Variation in breast cancer grading:the effect of creating awareness through laboratory-specific and pathologist-specific feedback reports in 16 734 patients with breast cancer

van Dooijeweert Carmen, van Diest Paul J, Baas Inge O, van der Wall Elsken, Deckers Ivette A dec 2020, In: Journal of Clinical Pathology. 73 , p. 793-799 7 p.

Phase I feasibility study of Magnetic Resonance guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound-induced hyperthermia, Lyso-Thermosensitive Liposomal Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide in de novo stage IV breast cancer patients:study protocol of the i-GO study

de Maar Josanne S, Suelmann Britt B M, Braat Manon N G J A, van Diest P J, Vaessen H H B, Witkamp Arjen J, Linn S C, Moonen Chrit T W, van der Wall Elsken, Deckers Roel 26 nov 2020, In: BMJ Open. 10

The Physiological MicroRNA Landscape in Nipple Aspirate Fluid:Differences and Similarities with Breast Tissue, Breast Milk, Plasma and Serum

Patuleia Susana I S, van Gils Carla H, Oneto Cao Angie M, Bakker Marije F, van Diest Paul J, van der Wall Elsken, Moelans Cathy B 2 nov 2020, In: International journal of molecular sciences. 21 , p. 1-17 17 p.

Digital pathology in the time of corona

Stathonikos Nikolas, van Varsseveld Nadege C, Vink Aryan, van Dijk Marijke R, Nguyen Tri Q, Leng Wendy W J de, Lacle Miangela M, Goldschmeding Roel, Vreuls Celien P H, van Diest Paul J 1 nov 2020, In: Journal of Clinical Pathology. 73 , p. 706-712 7 p.

The effect of an e-learning module on grading variation of (pre)malignant breast lesions

van Dooijeweert Carmen, Deckers Ivette A.G., de Ruiter Emma J., ter Hoeve Natalie D., Vreuls Celien P.H., van der Wall Elsken, van Diest Paul J. 1 okt 2020, In: Modern Pathology. 33 , p. 1961-1967 7 p.

Assessment of tumour proliferation by use of the mitotic activity index, and Ki67 and phosphohistone H3 expression, in early-stage luminal breast cancer

van Steenhoven Julia E C, Kuijer Anne, Kornegoor Robert, van Leeuwen Gijs, van Gorp Joost, van Dalen Thijs, van Diest Paul J okt 2020, In: Histopathology. 77 , p. 579-587 9 p.

Quantifying the Mitigating Effects of Whole-Breast Radiotherapy and Systemic Treatments on Regional Recurrence Incidence Among Breast Cancer Patients

van Steenhoven Julia E C, Kuijer Anne, van Maaren Marissa C, Roos Marleen, Elias Sjoerd G, van Diest Paul J, Siesling Sabine, Smidt Marjolein L, Boersma Liesbeth J, van Dalen Thijs sep 2020, In: Annals of Surgical Oncology. 27 , p. 3402-3411 10 p.

Patients’ perceptions of 70-gene signature testing:commonly changing the initial inclination to undergo or forego chemotherapy and reducing decisional conflict

van Steenhoven Julia E.C., den Dekker Bianca M., Kuijer Anne, van Diest Paul J., Nieboer Peter, Zuetenhorst Johanna M., Imholz Alex L.Th, Siesling Sabine, van Dalen Thijs 1 jul 2020, In: Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 182 , p. 107-115 9 p.

Methylation Profile of X-Chromosome-Related Genes in Male Breast Cancer

Foschini Maria P, Morandi Luca, Sanchez Alejandro M, Santoro Angela, Mulè Antonino, Zannoni Gian Franco, Varga Zsuzsanna, Moskovszky Linda, Cucchi Maria C, Moelans Cathy B, Giove Gianluca, van Diest Paul J, Masetti Riccardo 17 jun 2020, In: Frontiers in oncology. 10 10 p.

Patient-Derived Ovarian Cancer Organoids Mimic Clinical Response and Exhibit Heterogeneous Inter- and Intrapatient Drug Responses

de Witte Chris Jenske, Espejo Valle-Inclan Jose, Hami Nizar, Lõhmussaar Kadi, Kopper Oded, Vreuls Celien Philomena Henrieke, Jonges Geertruida Nellie, van Diest Paul, Nguyen Luan, Clevers Hans, Kloosterman Wigard Pieter, Cuppen Edwin, Snippert Hugo Johannes Gerhardus, Zweemer Ronald Peter, Witteveen Petronella Oda, Stelloo Ellen 16 jun 2020, In: Cell Reports. 31 8 p.

All Research Output (927)