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Molecular Genetics: Maarten van Lohuizen

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Maarten van Lohuizen, Ph.D ProfessorHead of Division, Group Leader

About Maarten van Lohuizen

Research interest

Role of Polycomb-Group genes in transcriptional repression, stem cell fate and tumorigenesis.
Our lab has a long-standing interest in epigenetic gene regulation dictated by chromatin modifications. We study the mechanism of stable inherited transcriptional repression by Polycomb-group (Pc-G) protein complexes, and the effects of deregulation of Pc-G genes on development, cell cycle control, cancer formation and stem cell maintenance.Currently, the lab uses two model organisms, namely mouse (Mus musculus) and fly (Drosophila melanogaster).

Retroviral insertional mutagenesis & Cancer genomics
Slow transforming retroviruses, such as the Moloney murine leukemia virus (M-MuLV), induce tumors upon infection of a host after a relatively long latency period. These retroviruses can transform the infected host cells through the accidental insertion of their proviruses into the host genome in the vicinity of genes that can confer growth advantages to cells. This means that the proviral insertions found in tumors induced by retroviral insertional mutagenesis mark genes contributing to the tumorigenic process. Since cancer is a complex multistep process, the proviral insertions in one clone of tumor cells also represent oncogenic events that co-operate in tumorigenesis. Novel advances, such as the launch of the complete mouse genome, high-throughput isolation of proviral flanking sequences, new dedicated bioinformatic tools and genetically modified animals have revolutionized proviral tagging into an elegant and efficient approach to identify signaling pathways that collaborate in cancer. This project is executed together with Anton Berns in our department. We have made much progress in the last years and identified over 600 putative oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes and how they cooperate in specific genetic networks. This project is yielding an unexpected wealth of information on haploinsufficient tumor suppressor genes and specific cooperation of oncogenes. It also appears to validate and complement large-scale sequencing efforts of cancer genomes.

Co-workers

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Gaurav Pandey, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Experience

I have completed my PhD at Uppsala university, Sweden during which I was involved in investigating the role of long noncoding RNAs in development and diseases. As a postdoctoral fellow, my research interest involves understanding the epigenetic resistance mechanisms operational upon inhibition of poly-comb group of proteins in brain tumors.

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Gayathri Chandrasekaran, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Experience

I completed my B.Tech (Biotechnology)from SASTRA University, India and M.Sc (Biomedical Science) from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I then embarked on my doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge. In my postdoctoral work, I will study therapeutic responses to Polycomb inhibition in preclinical mouse models of KRAS mutant lung cancer

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Jawahar Kopparam

Postdoctoral Fellow

Experience

I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in cancer cell differentiation and metastasis. During my doctoral studies, I investigated factors regulating NF-kB and STAT3 pathways that contribute to lung adenocarcinoma development. This resulted in the identification of a protein kinase, RIP4, as a novel regulator of STAT3 pathway and hence lung adenocarcinoma differentiation. I am currently investigating the importance of polycomb proteins in the regulation of tumor heterogeneity found in small cell lung cancer.





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Jitendra Badhai,Ph.D

Postdoctoral Fellow

Experience

I completed my PhD in clinical genetics from Uppsala University, Sweden. I am currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Molecular Genetics, Netherlands Cancer Institute. I am interested in developing novel mouse models and finding key driver genes in mesothelioma and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). I am using piggyBac (PB) transposon mutagenesis in mice with an integrative analysis approach in mouse and human tumors to find driver genes in mesothelioma and SCLC. At Maarten's lab, I will use my KWF grant to decipher the tumor suppressive role of BAP1 and related exploitable vulnerabilities in cancer.

 

 

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Nick Landman

PhD Student

Experience

I completed both my Bachelor and Master education in Biology (Animal Sciences & Health) at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. During my Masters I went on a one year internship to
the Biotech Research and Innovation Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. During my
PhD my focus will be on the identification and formulation of novel therapeutic
approaches for Bap1 mutant malignancies.

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Jasper van Genugten

PhD Student

Experience

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Danielle Hulsman

Technical staff

Experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Research updates View All Updates

Key publications View All Publications

  • The oncogene and Polycomb-group gene bmi-1 regulates cell proliferation and senescence through the INK4a locus.

    Nature. 1999; 397: 164-68.

    Jacobs JJL, Kieboom K, Marino S, DePinho RA, van Lohuizen M.

    Link to Pubmed
 
 

Recent publications View All Publications

  • A new transgenic mouse model for conditional overexpression of the Polycomb Group protein EZH2

    Transgenic Res. 2017;26:187-196

    Koppens MA, Tanger E, Nacerddine K, Westerman B, Song JY, van Lohuizen M

    Link to Pubmed
  • TRIM28 is an Epigenetic Barrier to Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Reprogramming.

    Stem Cells.2017;35:147-157

    Miles DC, de Vries NA, Gisler S, Lieftink C, Akhtar W, Gogola E, Pawlitzky I, Hulsman D, Tanger E, Koppens M, Beijersbergen RL, van...

    Link to Pubmed
 

Contact

  • Office manager

    Marij Degen

  • E-mail

    m.degen_AT_ nki.nl

  • Telephone Number

    +31 (0)20 512 9134

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