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Biochemistry: Thijn Brummelkamp

Research interest: Experimental biomedical genetics

Experimental genetics provides a powerful window into complex biological processes. Recently we have developed an entirely novel genetic model system to expand the toolbox for genetics in human cells. This method enables efficient inactivation of human genes by a single mutation using insertional mutagenesis in cells that are haploid or near-haploid. We have used haploid genetic screens to identify genes that play a role in human disease. This led to the identification of the lysosomal cholesterol transporter NPC1 as the long-sought intracellular receptor for Ebola virus, the first cellular entry receptor used by a Clostridium difficile toxin and numerous host factors needed for construction of the Lassa virus entry receptor. Beyond its application in infectious disease we use haploid genetics to identify genes important for drug-action or to search for cancer cell vulnerabilities.

In parallel, we are also interested in understanding the mechanisms that control organ size. How tissues stop growing upon reaching a certain size remains a mystery in biology. This is likely relevant for tumorigenesis because tumor cells are able to bypass normal growth control and continue to proliferate unabated.Drosophila genetics has increased our understanding of the biology of organ size control, and the Hippo signaling pathway has emerged as a key regulator. Interestingly, all the components of the Hippo pathway are conserved in mammals and some have been implicated in cancer. We use genetic mouse models and biochemical methods to address how this signaling pathway regulates tissue size in mammals and how it contributes to tumorigenesis.

Co-workers

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Vincent Blomen

Ph.D. student

Experience

After studying Cancer Genomics & Developmental Biology at Utrecht University I started my PhD training in 2010 in Thijn's lab at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and subsequently at the NKI. My main topic of interest is employing and adapting haploid genetic screening techniques to identify cancer cell vulnerabilities.

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Lucas Jae

Ph.D. student

Personal details

Experience

Over the course of my studies in Human Biology at the Philipps University of Marburg, I worked with Prof. Martin Eilers (Biozentrum, Würzburg), Prof. Rolf Müller (IMT, Marburg) and Prof. Tomas Ekström (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm). My thesis was prepared in the lab of Prof. Robert Weinberg (Whitehead Institute, Cambridge) on the subject of tumor-stroma interactions. My current interest lies in studying cancer cell vulnerabilities and host-pathogen interactions. 

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Joppe Nieuwenhuis

Ph.D. student

Experience

After obtaining my Masters degree at Utrecht University I joined the Brummelkamp group. During my PhD I aim to find new regulatory components of the currently poorly described Hippo pathway using haploid genetics. Herewith I hope to contribute to our understanding of the role of Hippo signaling in both organ size regulation as well as carcinogenesis.

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Jacqueline Staring

Ph.D. student

Experience

After finishing my masters degree (Cancer Genomics & Developmental Biology) at Utrecht University I started my PhD training in 2010 in Thijn's lab at the Whitehead Institute and subsequently at the NKI. My main topic of interest is employing haploid genetic screening techniques to identify viral host factors in the human cell.

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Lisa van den Hengel

Technician

Experience

After I graduated in Medical Biology at the University of Groningen, I followed a PhD trajectory at the Einthoven Laboratory for Experimental Vascular Medicine at the Leiden University Medical Center. In 2012, I started to work in the Brummelkamp lab where I participate in research projects that focus on the identification of host factors required for viral infection.

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Experience

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Raaben, Matthijs

Matthijs Raaben

Postdoctoral fellow

Experience

Born and raised in the Netherlands, I obtained my Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences from Utrecht University in 2004. I did my PhD, focused on coronavirus-host interactions, at the same University in the Virology group of Peter Rottier.

After graduating in September 2009, I started working in the lab of Sean Whelan at Harvard Medical School in Boston (USA), where I performed research on the cell entry mechanisms exploited by different negative-strand RNA viruses.

In August 2013 I joined the Brummelkamp lab where I am currently using haploid genetic screening technology to uncover new virus entry strategies.

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Sandhya Shrestha

Sandhya Shrestha

Master student

Experience

I am currently enrolled in the Biomedical Sciences Masters (oncology track) at the University of Amsterdam. In the last year of my bachelor I did an internship at the Academic Medical Center  (in the laboratory of Dr. Noam Zelcer) where I studied cholesterol metabolism.  Recently I started my first Masters internship in the Brummelkamp group.  During this internship I will study genetic interactions in cancer and signaling.

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STUDENT TIJN1

Ana Gasol Garcia

Master student

Experience

During my bachelor Biotechnology studies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, I gained my first lab experiences in the groups of Salvador Aznar Benitah (CRG, Barcelona) and Carsten Schultz (EMBL, Germany). When I finished my Bachelor in Barcelona, I moved to Amsterdam and joined the Msc Oncology program at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Currently, I am doing an internship at the NKI in the Brummelkamp group.

My project is to study signal transduction in human cells using haploid genetics.

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Research updates View All Updates

Key publications View All Publications

  • YAP1 increases organ size and expands undifferentiated progenitor cells

    (2007) Curr Biol 23,2054-60

    Camargo FD, Gokhale S, Johnnidis JB, Fu D, Bell GW, Jaenisch R, Brummelkamp TR

    Link to Pubmed
  • Haploid genetic screens in human cells identify host factors used by pathogens

    (2009) Science 326,1231-1235

    Carette JE, Guimaraes CP, Varadarajan M, Park AS, Wuethrich I, Godarova A, Kotecki M, Cochran BH, Spooner E, Ploegh HL, Brummelkamp TR. et al.

    Link to Pubmed
 
 

Recent publications View All Publications

  • A CREB3-ARF4 signalling pathway mediates the response to Golgi stress and susceptibility to pathogens

    Nat Cell Biol. 2013;15:1473-85

    Reiling JH, Olive AJ, Sanyal S, Carette JE, BrummelkampTR, Ploegh HL, Starnbach MN, Sabatini DM.

    Read more
  • A reversible gene trap collection empowers haploid genetics in human cells

    Nat Methods. 2013;10:965-71

    Bürckstümmer T, Banning C, Hainzl P, Schobesberger R, Kerzendorfer C, Pauler FM, Chen D, Them N, Schischlik F, Rebsamen M, Smida M, Fece...

    A reversible gene trap collection empowers haploid genetics in human cells
 

Contact

  • Office manager

    Caroline Kapper

  • E-mail

    c.kapper@nki.nl

  • Telephone Number

    +31 20 512 9168

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