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 (914)

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.

Interventional Ductoscopy as an Alternative for Major Duct Excision or Microdochectomy in Women Suffering Pathologic Nipple Discharge:A Single-center Experience

Filipe Mando Dyko, Waaijer Laurien, van der Pol Carmen, van Diest Paul Joannes, Witkamp Arjen Joost jun 2020, In: Clinical breast cancer. 20 , p. e334-e343

Meerwaarde van MRI-screening bij zeer dicht borstweefsel in het bevolkingsonderzoek borstkanker

de Lange Stéphanie V., Bakker Marije F., Pijnappel Ruud M., Mann Ritse M., Peeters Petra H.M., Monninkhof Evelyn M., Emaus Marleen J., Loo Claudette E., Bisschops Robertus H.C., Lobbes Marc B.I., de Jong Mathijn D.F., Duvivier Katya M., Veltman Jeroen, Karssemeijer Nico, de Koning Harry J., van Diest Paul J., Mali Willem P.T.M., van den Bosch Maurice A.A.J., Veldhuis Wouter B., van Gils Carla H. apr 2020, In: Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde. 164 10 p.

Tumor Response After Neoadjuvant Magnetic Resonance Guided Single Ablative Dose Partial Breast Irradiation

Vasmel Jeanine E, Charaghvandi Ramona K, Houweling Antonetta C, Philippens Marielle EP, van Asselen Bram, Vreuls Celien PH, van Diest Paul J, van Leeuwen Am Gijs, van Gorp Joost, Witkamp Arjen J, Koelemij Ron, Doeksen Annemiek, Sier Maartje F, van Dalen Thijs, van der Wall Elsken, van Dam Iris, Veldhuis Wouter B, Kirby Anna M, Verkooijen Helena M, van den Bongard HJG Desiree 15 mrt 2020, In: International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 106 , p. 821-829 9 p.

Desmoplastic melanoma:The role of pure and mixed subtype in sentinel lymph node biopsy and survival

Laeijendecker Annelien E, El Sharouni Mary-Ann, Sigurdsson Vigfús, van Diest Paul J 5 dec 2019, In: Cancer Medicine. 9 , p. 671-677 7 p.

Re:The Association Between Hysterectomy and Ovarian Cancer Risk: A Population-Based Record-Linkage Study

van Diest Paul J., Zweemer Ronald P., Piek Jurgen M.J. 1 dec 2019, In: Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 111 , p. 1361-1361 1 p.

Supplemental MRI Screening for Women with Extremely Dense Breast Tissue

Bakker Marije F, de Lange Stéphanie V, Pijnappel Ruud M, Mann Ritse M, Peeters Petra H M, Monninkhof Evelyn M, Emaus Marleen J, Loo Claudette E, Bisschops Robertus H C, Lobbes Marc B I, de Jong Matthijn D F, Duvivier Katya M, Veltman Jeroen, Karssemeijer Nico, de Koning Harry J, van Diest Paul J, Mali Willem P T M, van den Bosch Maurice A A J, Veldhuis Wouter B, van Gils Carla H, 28 nov 2019, In: The New England journal of medicine. 381 , p. 2091-2102 12 p.

Application of Nipple Aspirate Fluid miRNA Profiles for Early Breast Cancer Detection and Management

Moelans Cathy B, Patuleia Susana I S, van Gils Carla H, van der Wall Elsken, van Diest Paul J 2 nov 2019, In: International journal of molecular sciences. 20

Being fully digital:perspective of a Dutch academic pathology laboratory

Stathonikos Nikolas, Nguyen Tri Q, Spoto Clothaire P, Verdaasdonk Marina A M, van Diest Paul J nov 2019, In: Histopathology. 75 , p. 621-635 15 p.

All Research Output (914)