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Biochemistry: Thijn Brummelkamp


Thijn Brummelkamp, Ph.D. professorGroup leader

About 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.


Bianchi, Danielle

Daniëlle Bianchi

Ph.D. student


In 2018, I graduated from MSc. Drug Discovery and Safety at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. During this program I conducted an internship in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the Vrije Universiteit, focusing on small antibody fragments (nanobodies) binding to GPCRs aiming to improve glioblastoma treatment. Next, I was an intern in Madalena Tarsounas' group at the University of Oxford, where I focused on the identification of novel drug-targets in BRCA2-deficient tumours.

In September 2018 I started my PhD in Thijn Brummelkamp's lab, where I will use haploid genetics to discover and understand the mechanisms behind vulnerabilities in tumours.

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Nicolaas Boon

Nicolaas Boon

Ph.D. student


Early 2020 I graduated from the MSc. Biomedical Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. During my master's degree I did an internship in the Brummelkamp group at the NKI for a period of one year, where I studied proteins involved in the DNA damage response. During my second internship I worked on the identification and characterization of novel RNA methyltransferases in the Kouzarides laboratory at the Gurdon Institute of the University of Cambridge.

After completion of my master's degree, I returned to the Brummelkamp laboratory to investigate diverse aspects of cell biology using genetics.

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Fauster, Astrid

Astrid Fauster, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow


After completing a master's degree in molecular microbiology at the University of Graz, I obtained my PhD in the lab of Prof. Giulio Superti-Furga at CeMM (Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences) in Vienna. During my PhD I focused on programmed necrotic cell death, employing chemical screening and mass-spectrometry-based pathway mapping to identify inhibitors and regulators of necroptotic cell death.
In 2017 I moved to the lab of Thijn Brummelkamp, where I am using haploid genetic screening to study disease-relevant signaling pathways.


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Peter Haahr, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow


I received my master's degree in Molecular Biomedicine at the University of Copenhagen and obtained my PhD in the field of genotoxic stress at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research (NNF-CPR) in the lab of Prof. Niels Mailand. There, I worked on identifying new regulatory mechanisms in the response to replication stress and DNA damage with a particular focus on phosphorylation and Ubiquitin-signaling.

In 2019 I joined the lab of Prof. Thijn Brummelkamp, where I am using haploid genetic screening approaches to study disease-relevant signaling pathways.


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Hengel, Lisa van den.jpg

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.

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Landskron, Lisa

Lisa Landskron, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow


After completing my Master degree in Biomedicine and Biotechnology including projects at the University of Cambridge and the Karolinska Institutet, I joined the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna for my PhD. In my PhD project I studied stem cell-derived tumorigenesis using Drosophila. During this time, I was particularly impressed by the power of genetics. Thus, I joined Thijn Brummelkamp's group to expand my skills to mammalian model systems and to follow my interest in studying disease-related processes. At the NKI I want to investigate the (dis)assembly of protein aggregates and its regulation.





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Mazouzi, Abdelghani

Abdelghani Mazouzi, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow


I received my Master in Biochemistry and Structural Biology from the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble (France). As part of my master training, I performed internships at the Institute Gustave-Roussy in Paris and at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital in Montreal (Canada). I obtained my PhD in Malignant Diseases from the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (CeMM) in Vienna (Austria).

In July 2017, I joined the lab of Thijn Brummelkamp as a postdoctoral fellow to use, adapt and expand the toolbox of haploid genetics to gain novel insights into the complex biological systems related to human diseases.



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McLelland, Gian-Luca

Gian-Luca McLelland, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow


I obtained my PhD in the field of neuroscience from McGill University (Montreal, Canada) under the guidance of Prof. Edward Fon at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI). There, I studied the cell biology of Parkinson's disease, focusing on the role played by mitochondria in disease pathogenesis. I joined the Brummelkamp group in 2018, looking to combine my foundation in cell biology and biochemistry with haploid genetic screens. I am interested in applying these skills to the study of organellar networks - particularly with respect to their organization, dynamics, and crosstalk - and their impact human disease.


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Research updates View All Updates

  • Ammodo award for Thijn Brummelkamp

    NKI researcher Thijn Brummelkamp has received an Ammodo Award from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (Dutch abbreviation: KNAW). He is one of eight promising Dutch researchers who will receive the award this year. The Ammodo Award aims to stimulate fundamental scientific research and is awarded to researchers who obtained their PhD less than 15 years ago. The award comes with a grant of 300.000 Euro.

    Brummelkamp, who heads a research group within the division of Biochemistry, says he feels 'very honored'. He adds: "Our experiments are expensive. This award will help us to expand our research." Brummelkamp wants to use the funding to study gene-gene interactions that play a role in healthy tissues or in human disease.

  • Marie Curie Fellowship has been awarded to Matthijs Raaben

    Matthijs Raaben, postdoc in the research group of Thijn Brummelkamp, has been awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship by the European Union. The fellowship aims to stimulate the career of young, talented researchers within the EU.

Key publications View All Publications

  • Genetic wiring maps of single-cell protein states reveal an off-switch for GPCR signalling

    (2017) Nature. June 8. doi: 10.1038/nature22376.

    Brockmann M, Blomen VA, Nieuwenhuis J, Stickel E, Raaben M, Bleijerveld OB, Altelaar AFM, Jae LT, Brummelkamp TR.

    Link to PubMed
  • Ebola virus entry requires the cholesterol transporter Niemann-Pick C1

    (2011) Nature. Aug 24;477(7364):340-3.

    Carette JE, Raaben M, Wong AC, Herbert AS, Obernosterer G, Mulherkar N, Kuehne AI, Kranzusch PJ, Griffin AM, Ruthel G, Dal Cin P, Dye JM, Whelan SP, Chandran K, Brummelkamp TR.


    Link to PubMed

Recent publications View All Publications

  • Protocadherin-1 is essential for cell entry by New World hantaviruses

    (2018) Nature. Nov;563(7732):559-563.

    Jangra RK, Herbert AS, Li R, Jae LT, Kleinfelter LM, Slough MM, Barker SL, Guardado-Calvo P, Román-Sosa G, Dieterle ME, Kuehne AI, Muena NA, Wirchnianski AS, Nyakatura EK, Fels JM, Ng M, Mittler E, Pan J, Bharrhan S, Wec AZ, Lai JR, Sidhu SS, Tischler ND, Rey FA, Moffat J, Brummelkamp TR, Wang Z, Dye JM, Chandran K.

    Link to PubMed
  • LZTR1 is a regulator of RAS ubiquitination and signaling

    (2018) Science. Dec 7;362(6419):1171-1177.

    Bigenzahn JW, Collu GM, Kartnig F, Pieraks M, Vladimer GI, Heinz LX, Sedlyarov V, Schischlik F, Fauster A, Rebsamen M, Parapatics K, Blomen VA, Müller AC, Winter GE, Kralovics R, Brummelkamp TR, Mlodzik M, Superti-Furga G.

    Link to PubMed


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    Mirna Ekelschot - van Diermen

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