This website uses cookies

This websites contains videos from YouTube. This company uses cookies (third party cookies). If you do not want them to use these cookies, you can indicate so here. However, this does mean that you will not be able to watch videos on this website. We also make use of our own cookies in order to improve our website. We don’t share our data with other parties. Read more about our cookie policy

This website uses cookies to enable video and to improve the user experience. If you do not want to accept these cookies, indicate so here. Read more about our cookie policy

Ga direct naar de inhoud, het hoofdmenu, het servicemenu of het zoekveld.

Molecular Genetics

Divisions

Groups within research area Molecular Genetics

MaartenVanLohuizen.jpg

Maarten van Lohuizen

Division
Molecular Genetics
Specialisation
Cell Fate and Cancer

Introduction

Maarten van Lohuizen gained his PhD at the NKI in 1992 studying oncogenes with Anton Berns. After a postdoc at the University of California, San Francisco, he returned to the NKI in 1995 and heads the Division of Molecular Genetics. He works on the master switches that control cell and tissue development, and how these go wrong in cancer. His group is working on one set of these switches, known as the Polycomb group proteins, which control cell fate and identity both during embryonic development and throughout adult life. These proteins are known to be involved in tumor formation, and the group has been working out how, which could lead to the development of more effective combinations of drugs for treating cancer.

More about the Maarten van Lohuizen group

AntonBerns.jpg

Anton Berns

Division
Molecular Genetics
Specialisation
Mouse Models for Cancer

Introduction

Anton Berns served as director of the NKI from 1999-2011 whilst retaining a research group, and now continues as a full-time group leader. His aim is to quicken the pace of basic cancer research in order to get the associated benefits to patients sooner. His group uses mouse models, particularly for lung cancer and mesothelioma, which are two of the deadliest cancers, to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of cancer progression with the hope of developing methods to cure it. Looking ahead, he hopes that once they can cure a cancer in mice, a similar intervention can be applied in humans.

More about the Anton Berns group

William Faller

William Faller

Division
Molecular Genetics
Specialisation
RNA Translation and Cancer

Introduction

William studied for his BSc at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and graduated in 2003. He followed this with a PhD under the supervision of Prof. William Gallagher at the UCD Conway Institute in Dublin, where his project involved the study of DNA methylation in melanoma cells. He continued his focus on cancer in his Post Doctoral studies with Prof. Owen Sansom at the CRUK Beatson Institute in Glasgow. During this time he began to work with mouse models of colorectal cancer, primarily focusing on mTOR signaling. In 2016 he became a Junior Group Leader at the NKI

He runs a science blog that can be found at https://biologicallyactive.co.uk/.

More about the William Faller group

AndreBergman.jpg

André Bergman

Division
Molecular Genetics
Specialisation
Prostate Cancer Development

Introduction

Andre Bergman divides his time between treating cancer patients at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital, and working in the laboratory at the adjacent NKI, where he researches the mechanisms underlying prostate cancer development. Prostate cancer is the most prevalent malignant disease in men. It develops through distinct stages, and there is emerging evidence that the tumor microenvironment plays an important role in driving progression through the different stages. The Bergman group investigates the contribution of the microenvironment in prostate cancer development using both cancer models in the laboratory, as well as human prostate cancer. Their goal is to identify new mechanisms and targets that could be used to develop more effective therapeutic approaches.

More about the André Bergman group

MetelloInnocenti02.jpg

Metello Innocenti

Division
Molecular Genetics
Specialisation
Cancer Cell Migration

Introduction

Metello Innocenti joined the NKI in 2009 and works on the mechanisms of cell movement. Cell migration requires force generated by polymerization of the protein actin into filaments and it plays an essential role in both development and many homeostatic processes. However, when it becomes unregulated it can cause diseases and pathologies including cancer metastasis. Metello's group studies cell migration with a focus on crucial actin-regulatory proteins to find new therapies to inhibit the metastatic dissemination of cancer. They employ a multi-disciplinary approach using cellular and animal models to study the molecular mechanisms dictating actin polymerization within normal and malignant cells.

More about the Metello Innocenti group

JohnHilkens.jpg

John Hilkens

Division
Molecular Genetics
Specialisation
Breast Cancer Genes

Introduction

The main research focus of John Hilkens is the identification of genes that, when mutated or overexpressed, lead to breast cancer. To do this, he uses a powerful technique called insertional mutagenesis in mouse models for human breast cancer. Although whole genome sequencing and other technologies have identified a large number of genes involved in oncogenesis, insertional mutagenesis is a most efficient tool to uncover cancer genes since genes tagged at a statistical significant frequency in independent tumors are causally involved in tumorigenesis. Once a cancer-causing gene is found, he works on uncovering its function in the cell, particularly the molecular pathways it controls, which can become deregulated in cancer. This may lead to the discovery of novel drug targets and treatment options, leading to more personalized cancer therapy for individual patients with breast cancer, and potentially with other types of cancers.

In addition, John Hilkens has a long-standing interest in MUC1, a membrane bound sialomucin. He has shown that this class of mucins which are often highly overexpressed on cancer cells can, among others, strongly affect the adhesive properties of the cell. Moreover, he has shown that the MUC1 protein is circulating in the serum of breast cancer patients and can be used as a measure for tumor load in patients. Using this knowledge, he developed a serum assay, which led to the CA15-3 assay which is now widely used in the clinic.

More about the John Hilkens group

Share this page