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Kees Jalink is a biophysicist who is interested in designing and
developing technologies for tackling diverse biological questions.
He has brought many new technologies to the NKI and is an advisor
to three companies on the creation of new devices. He often builds
prototypes in the lab from individual pieces using sticky tape and
then invites industry in to make them user-friendly. His group
spends half of its time establishing new techniques and serving as
the NKI biophysical center of expertise for those techniques,
collaborating and publishing jointly with others. With the other
half, they focus on their own research on cellular adhesion
mechanisms involved in cancer.
René Medema became director of the NKI in 2012, and brought an
established research group to the institute. He has extensive
experience studying the mechanisms underlying cell division,
particularly the molecular checkpoints that control progression of
the cell cycle. Many classic anti-cancer drugs kill cells by
targeting the cell cycle, for example by damaging DNA or by
perturbing assembly of the mitotic spindle, which is required for
cell division. René's group aims to gain a clearer understanding of
the cellular responses to these drugs in order to better predict
drug responses and experimentally test new and potentially more
effective anti-cancer strategies.
Arnoud Sonnenberg was trained in several laboratories in the USA
and the Netherlands before obtaining his PhD from the University of
Amsterdam. In 1990, he joined the Division of Cell Biology at the
Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, where he became head of
the Division in 2003. He has been an editor of the J. Cell Science
since 2005. The main objective of his research is to understand the
function of integrins in differentiation and migration, and how
integrins and associated proteins regulate the assembly of
multiprotein complexes at the cell substratum site in normal and
Marcel Verheij combines his clinical activities as a radiation
oncologist at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital with
translational research in the adjacent NKI. This helps him keep his
laboratory work focused on clinical need, and his clinical work
scientifically up to date. A two-year fellowship at Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York during his residency-PhD
program sparked an interest in apoptosis, or programmed cell death.
This led to his current line of research investigating the
mechanisms of radiation-induced cell death with a view to designing
more effective combined treatment strategies by identifying tumor
targeted agents that increase the cytotoxic effect of
Drug resistance, ABC-transporters, Molecular Parasitology (Trypanosomatids)
Borst closed his lab in 2015, but remains an adviser on projects
started in his lab. He also remains an active staff member of the
NKI, advising, mentoring, reviewing, writing, and lecturing at
festive occasions and on bio-ethics.