Biochemistry: Thijn Brummelkamp
Thijn Brummelkamp, Ph.D.Group leaderAbout 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lisa van den Hengel
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.
Ferdy van Diemen
As a student I studied Biomedical Science and graduated as MSc in Oncology at the VU University. I did internships at the Neuro-Oncology Research group of the VUmc CCA and the department of Cell Biology II in the NKI under the supervision of Dr. Tiziana Scanu. Currently, I work at the Thijn Brummelkamp group on screening for several pathogenic and non-pathogenic viruses using the powerful tool of haploid genetics. Besides screening pathogens, obtaining a deeper understanding on how cells become haploid is also one of my key interests.
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.
Research updates View All Updates
Thijn Brummelkamp receives the EMBO Gold Medal 2013
The EMBO Gold Medal is awarded annually to scientists under the age of 40 for outstanding contributions to the life sciences in Europe.Thijn Brummelkamp receives the EMBO Gold Medal 2013
August 2012: Molecular Biosystems Early Career Award awarded to Thijn Brummelkamp.
The Molecular Biosystems Early Career Award is awarded to Thijn Brummelkamp at the annual meeting for Systems Biology (ICSB) in Toronto.Molecular Biosystems Early Career Award is awarded to Thijn Brummelkamp in Toronto
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 TRLink 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 et al.Link to Pubmed
Recent publications View All Publications
Deciphering the glycosylome of dystroglycanopathies using haploid screens for lassa virus entry
(2013) Science 26, 479-83
Jae, LT, Raaben, M, Riemersma, M, van Beusekom, E, Blomen, VA, Velds, A., Kerkhoven, RM, Carette, JE, Topaloglu, H., Meinecke, P, Wessels,...Link to Pubmed
Ebola virus entry requires the cholesterol transporter Niemann-Pick C1
(2011) Nature, 477, 340-343
Carette, JE, Raaben,M , Wong, AC, Herbert, AS, Obernosterer, G, Mulherkar, N, Kuehne, AI, Kranzusch, PJ, Griffin, AM, Ruthel, G, Dal...Link to Pubmed
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