Roderick Beijersbergen

Group leader

+31 20 512 1960

Roderick completed his studies in Biomedical Sciences at Leiden University and performed his PhD research in the laboratory of René Bernards at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, where he identified a novel member of the E2F family of transcription factors, E2F4. He further studied the role of cyclin/cdk complexes in the regulation of the retinoblastoma-related proteins p107 and p130 with respect to their function as repressor of E2F activity and cell cycle progression.

In 1996, he moved to Robert Weinberg's laboratory at the Whitehead institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, where he studied telomerase, its crucial role for the survival of cancer cells and its transcriptional regulation by the Myc oncogene.

In 1999 he started his own lab at the Netherlands Cancer Institute focused on the understanding of the repression and activation of the expression of hTERT, the catalytic subunit of telomerase in normal and cancer cells.

His research group has developed a strong focus on the development and application of large-scale functional genomic technologies, with the goal to identify novel and more effective cancer treatments. In 2002, his group pioneered large-scale pooled shRNA screening, a technology which has now been incorporated for pooled CRIPSR/CAS9 screening. These pooled screens have led to the identification of novel targets for cancer therapy, to the understanding of the mechanisms of action of novel drugs and the identification of novel mechanisms of acquired resistance to pathway targeted therapeutics. In 2007, he established the NKI Robotics and Screening Center that provides technology platforms for large scale functional genomic screening, small molecule screening and high throughput genomic technologies. These technologies are applied for the identification of novel targets, to identify mechanisms of resistance and potential combination strategies to improve clinical responses. In 2015, he co-founded Qameleon Therapeutics BV, which focuses on the clinical development of novel treatment combinations for cancer.

Roderick has a long-held interest in the development and application of functional genomic technologies. Both his lab and the NKI Robotics and Screening Center provide support to many research groups in and outside the Netherlands with their large-scale screening projects. In 2020, with support of KWF, he established ScreeninC, a national infrastructure for genome editing and large scale functional screening to further extend the possibilities and accessibility of high-end functional genomic technologies to research groups in the Netherlands.

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