Ron Korstanje named Evnin Family Chair

A photo of The Jackson Laboratory's Ron Korstanje . Photo credit: Tiffany Laufer The Jackson Laboratory's Ron Korstanje. Photo credit: Tiffany Laufer

Appointment honors Korstanje’s accomplishments as an exemplary scientist and mentor.

Associate Professor Ron Korstanje, Ph.D., has been named the Evnin Family Chair at The Jackson Laboratory. An expert in the genetics of kidney function and disease, Korstanje’s appointment marks a new chapter in his 20 years of service to JAX’s mission. 

“Ron’s exceptional contributions to JAX have advanced research discoveries and nurtured generations of future scientists,” said President and CEO Lon Cardon, Ph.D., FMedSci. “His appointment as the Evnin Family Chair bolsters our commitment to understanding the most complex health challenges of our time. I’m grateful to him, and to the Evnin family for their support in helping us recruit and retain top scientists.”

As a standout researcher in his field, Korstanje has authored more than 110 publications exploring the intersection of kidney function, aging, metabolism and genomics. He is a lead collaborator at the JAX Center for Aging Research and is a consummate volunteer for internal committees and boards and for organizations outside of JAX. 

To better understand the biology of aging and age-associated decline of kidney function, Korstanje has been performing studies in different species, including C. elegans, zebrafish, mice, and even black bears. He co-authored studies which discovered new genes that were previously unassociated with lifespan, and identified therapies that act on these genes to improve kidney function and extend lifespan and healthspan.

Born and educated in the Netherlands, Korstanje first arrived at JAX in 2001 as a postdoctoral fellow, working alongside the late legendary scientist and mentor Beverly Paigen, Ph.D. He was recruited back overseas to the University of Groningen in 2004 as a research associate in the medical biology division, where he quickly progressed to assistant professor. After returning to JAX in 2007 as a research scientist in Paigen’s laboratory, he advanced to the rank of associate professor in 2019. 

Throughout his tenure at JAX, Korstanje has mentored dozens of undergraduate, predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. He also works with students in the nonprofit biomedical research institution’s prestigious Summer Student Program (SSP), which marks its 100th anniversary this summer. Korstanje has served as the Bar Harbor SSP resident supervisor, living with his family alongside students throughout the 10-week program. In a full-circle moment, last year the inaugural Paigen Fellow was named to a yearlong appointment in his laboratory.

“I’m honored to be appointed the Evnin Family Chair,” Korstanje said. “For more than two decades, I’ve been able to advance my research with the help of world-class resources and incredible mentors and colleagues here at JAX. I’m excited to continue making contributions to this wonderful community of scientists and our shared vision for a healthier future.”

The Evnin Family Chair was established in 2015 by Emeritus Trustee Anthony B. Evnin, Ph.D., and his wife Judith, who were among the first to support endowed chairs at JAX. Korstanje succeeds the late George Weinstock, Ph.D., a pioneering geneticist and deeply respected member of the JAX community. The Evnins also established a second chair, the Evnin Family Endowed Chair in Alzheimer's Research, to support novel JAX research focused on protecting people from Alzheimer's disease even if they carry the genetic disposition toward it.

JAX currently has 15 endowed chair positions funded by support from generous donors. To learn more, visit our endowed chair page.

About The Jackson Laboratory

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution with a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and nearly 3,000 employees in locations across the United States (Maine, Connecticut, California), Japan and China. Its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. For more information, please visit