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Diagnostic Oncology: Gerrit Meijer

Meijer, G. MD, PhD

Gerrit Meijer, MD, PhDGroup leader, MD, PhD

About Gerrit Meijer

Translational Gastrointestinal Oncology

Translational Gastrointestinal Oncology (TGO)

Disease phenotype, including clinical outcome, is driven by underlying biological mechanisms. Translating disease biology into new diagnostic applications holds great promise for improving outcome for patients. The TGO focuses on translational research in the field of gastrointestinal cancer; especially biomarker development for early detection of colorectal cancer, as well as definition of molecular intermediate endpoints for screening. It involves DNA-, RNA- and protein-based tumor profiling using -omics techniques, in order to stratify patient groups and arrive at individually tailored therapies, as well as for biomarker development to improve colorectal cancer screening. In addition, we are involved in several national and international research infrastructure programs.

Early detection

Patients can be cured from colorectal cancer (CRC) when the tumor is detected and removed in an early stage. CRC as a disease lends itself perfectly for screening since it has a high prevalence and it has a well-defined precursor lesion (adenoma) with a long dwell time, providing an excellent window of opportunity for a variety of treatment options. Current immunochemical fecal occult blood test (FIT) based screening tests can reduce CRC mortality, but still approximately 30% of carcinomas and 70% of pre-malignant lesions remain undetected. Our main objectives in this research line are to unravel the biology of adenoma to carcinoma progression, and identify and clinically validate new biomarker based tests.

Patient stratification

Cancer is a heterogeneous disease caused by genomic alterations that affect tumor biology and clinical behavior. Therefore, a better understanding of disease biology can help us in determining who to treat and how to treat. By DNA-, RNA- and protein-profiling of tumor tissue it becomes feasible to stratify patients according to their molecular tumor profile, and to optimize treatment for individual patients. Next to tissue samples, also the minute amounts of tumor material in so called liquid biopsies, which can be obtained more easily than tissue samples, are amenable to these assays.

Co-workers

Bierkens, Mariska

Mariska Bierkens

Postdoctoral fellow

Experience

I am a molecular biologist interested in (epi)genetic alterations underlying disease development.  After my PhD I started working as poweruser for the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine, Translational Research-IT (CTMM-TraIT) project. The project aim is to provide sustainable data-management solutions for translational research data types. I have evaluated tools for their capability of accommodating research data and work with IT developers to improve the chosen tools. I am also a data consultant and member of a data-team, which is tasked with getting data of TraIT customers onto the data-integration platform for easy view and query.

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Anne Bolijn

Technician

Experience

I have completed my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry in 2005 at the HAN HLO in Nijmegen. After graduating I started working as a research technician at the Canisius-Wilhelmina Ziekenhuis in Nijmegen where I was involved in the research group at the department of pathology, with a focus on lung cancer tissues and sputum. In 2007 I started working in the tumor profiling group of Gerrit Meijer of the pathology department at the VUmc, Amsterdam, on the subject colorectal cancer, with a main focus on miRNAs. In 2015 I moved to NKI, continuing the investigation of colorectal cancer in tissues, feces, cell lines and organoids. Practically I am involved in the setup, planning and execution of divers molecular and functional experiments. I have experience in DNA/RNA isolations, (q)(RT-)PCRs, MSPs, MLPA, basic and advanced cell culture (including organoid culture), sequencing, sample processing.

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Bosch, Linda

Linda Bosch

Postdoctoral fellow

Experience

I am a molecular biologist with special interest in translational cancer research and translational bioinformatics.
During my PhD project, I have addressed multiple problems related to colorectal cancer, using a wide range of different methods. My work focused on the identification and validation of molecular markers for the early detection of colorectal cancer in stool. This was followed by postdoctoral work at the same research group, where I was responsible for all methylation-based studies within the research program.

Supported by a Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) fellowship, I am continuing my work in translational colorectal cancer research, broadening my focus from diagnostic to prognostic and predictive biomarkers. This includes germline and tumor profiling for stratifying patients for therapy.

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Carvalho, Beatriz

Beatriz Carvalho

Ph.D., Associate staff scientist / principal investigator

Experience

I'm a molecular biologist with interest in colorectal adenoma to carcinoma progression and in the use of this knowledge for identification of better markers for early detection of colorectal cancer. After completing my PhD in 2001 in the area of gastric cancer, at the University of Porto (Portugal), I started a postdoctoral position at the University of Groningen, still in the area of gastric cancer. In 2003, I moved to the colorectal cancer research field, within the group of Gerrit Meijer. Next to understanding biology and discovery of biomarkers, our research focuses on the translation of these findings in a clinical setting.

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Pien Delis-van Diemen

Technician

Experience

After I received my bachelor degree in 2002 at the Hogeschool of Utrecht I worked for 2 years in the group of Prof. Dr. Peter Snijders at the molecular Pathology in VUmc. In 2004 I switched to the tumor profiling group of Prof. Dr. Gerrit Meijer and in April 2015 I moved to the NKI.

I have experience in basic and advanced cell culture (including organoid culture), IHC and IF stainings, isolations of samples (DNA/RNA and Protein) and Western Blot.

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Van Denderen, Janneke

Janneke van Denderen

Research associate / project manager

Experience

After completing my PhD at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam I focused on management and education in VUmc. I was involved in the development of the Oncology Research Institute at VUmc, the Oncology Graduate School Amsterdam and initiated the Master Oncology at VUmc. Subsequently I was projectmanager in the department of Pathology at VUmc of two CTMM projects respectively on colon cancer (DeCoDe) and lung cancer (AIRFORCE). As of April 2015 I am projectmanager of the Stand Up to Cancer project MEDOCC (Molecular Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer) at NKI.

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Van 't Erve, Iris

Iris van 't Erve

Ph.D. student

Experience

From October 2017 onwards, I started working as a PhD candidate in the group of prof. dr. Gerrit Meijer at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. During my project, I will investigate if liquid biopsy analyses of cell-free circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is feasible as a predictive and prognostic biomarker for colorectal cancer patients with metastases. This research will be performed using blood samples of the CAIRO5 study; a multicenter, randomized, phase 3 clinical trial investigating the optimal systemic induction therapy for patients with initially unresectable, liver-only colorectal cancer metastases. Before starting this PhD project, I obtained a double Master of Science degree in Molecular Nutrition and Molecular Life Sciences at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

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Fijneman, Remond

Remond Fijneman

Ph.D., Associate staff scientist / principal investigator

Experience

After completing my PhD studies in cancer genetics at this institute (1997) I investigated tumor biology during my postdoctoral period at Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA) and the VU University Medical Center (Amsterdam). In 2004 I joined the group of prof.dr. Gerrit A. Meijer, where my research focused on translational gastrointestinal oncology. I aim to identify and validate diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive biomarkers for colorectal cancer, and to translate these findings into clinical applications. In addition, I am involved in (inter)national translational research IT infrastructure projects that aim to facilitate translational cancer research.

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Henneman, Alex

Alex Henneman

Bioinformatician

Experience

I received my Ph.D. degree in Theoretical High Energy Physics from the Vrije Universiteit in 2005. Subsequently, I worked as a bioinformatician at the Center for Proteomics and Metabolomics of the Leiden University Medical Center. In 2016, I joined the NKI to work on a collaborative project with the OncoProteomics Laboratory of the VU Medical Center, sponsored by a joint Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) project entitled "Signaling pathways involved in colorectal adenomatocarcinoma progression". To this end, I focus on phosphoproteomics data analysis strategies for biomarker discovery.

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Hijmans, Brenda

Brenda Hijmans

Bioinformatician

Experience

I studied behavioral and cognitive neurosciences and obtained a PhD in the area of physiology and metabolism at the University of Groningen. After my PhD I became more and more interested in working with programming languages and how to use them to help researchers conserve their data. In the Meijer group I work as part of the data team, which helps researchers store their data in a sustainable manner and aims to optimize data management solutions.  

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Gosia Komor

Ph.D. Student

Experience

I have started to work on my PhD project in September 2014. I work on integration of RNA-seq and proteomics data to detect aberrant splicing in colorectal cancer. It's a joined effort of Tumour Gastroenterology Oncology group at the Netherlands Cancer Institute and Oncoproteomics Laboratory at VU University medical centre. Before starting my PhD I have obtained  a double MSc degree in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology at  Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam  and Warsaw University in Poland in 2014. 

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Van Lanschot, Meta

Meta van Lanschot

Ph.D. Student

Experience

After graduating from Medical School at the University of Groningen in 2015, I have started as a PhD student in the group of Gerrit Meijer. The main focus of my research projects is early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC) through surveillance. Currently, the  surveillance strategy in place for patients at increased risk is based on colonoscopy. However this strategy seems to be ineffective in reducing CRC mortality. I am focusing on understanding the biology of adenoma to carcinoma progression and the use of biomarker, to find a more optimal surveillance strategy.

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Lemmens, GM

Margriet Lemmens

Technician

Experience

I graduated in 2012 from MLO laboratory school in Amsterdam in the field of pathology, from there I started working for Symbiant as a junior technician. In 2015 I started working for the NKI in group Meijer as a research technician.

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Martens, Sanne

Sanne Martens - de Kemp

Postdoctoral fellow

Experience

The focus of my research is on the colorectal adenoma-to-carcinoma progression. In a joined project with the Oncoproteomics Lab at the VU University Medical Center, I am analyzing the phosphorylation profile of a large series of colorectal adenomas and carcinomas. The candidate drivers of adenoma-to-carcinoma progression will be functionally validated in vitro and in vivo using genetically manipulated adenoma-derived organoids.

I am a molecular biologist by training and I obtained a Master's degree in Oncology. Before joining the NKI, I worked in the field of head-and-neck cancer at the VU University Medical Center. I received my PhD on genome-wide siRNA screens, miRNA screens, cisplatin response prediction and cancer stem cells.

 

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Van Mulligen, Pauline

Pauline van Mulligen

Experience

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Thijssen, Marianne

Marianne Tijssen

Technician

Experience

After  I received my bachelor degree in 1999 I worked for two small biotech companies in the field of Immunology. In 2003 I moved to the VUmc where I worked at the Micro array Facility helping to set up the Facility. In 2006 I moved to the research group of Gerrit Meijer at the VUmc and in April 2015 I moved to NKI.

My expertise lies mainly in molecular biology techniques, micro biology and cell culture/functional analysis 

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De Vries, Menno

Menno de Vries

Data manager, Msc.

Experience

After obtaining my MSc degree in 2015 I have worked at two farmaceutical companies, where I was involved in innovating new medical devices and executing clinical trials. Due to these experiences, I developed a strong interest for translational research. I often wondered: how can scientific knowledge efficiently and meaningful be​ translated to the clinic?  

​In 2017 I joined the CTMM-TraIT project in the NKI, that tries to make an accessible science cloud for scientific research all over the world. It is aim to make science data easy to find, easy to share and therefore more likely to valorize scientific knowledge to the clinic. 

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De Wit, Meike

Meike de Wit

Postdoctoral fellow

Experience

I am a molecular biologist in the field of translational colorectal cancer research. In my PhD project (dept. of Pathology, VUmc) was the discovery and development of protein biomarkers for colorectal cancer (CRC), with a specific interest to apply these for clinical tests.

I moved as a postdoc to the Oncoproteomics Laboratory (dept. of Oncology, VUmc) and there I have been extending these research lines, including microvesicle-mediated secreted proteins as biomarkers and identification of proteins that are associated with adenoma-to-carcinoma progression. My main focus now is on the validation of protein biomarkers for early detection of CRC in stool.

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Contact

  • Office manager

    Pauline van Mulligen

  • E-mail

    p.v.mulligen@nki.nl

  • Telephone Number

    +31 20 512 7998

Van Mulligen, Pauline

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