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Cell Biology: René Medema

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René Medema, Ph.D. professorDirector of Research, Group Leader, professor

About René Medema

Cell Division and Cancer

Cell Cycle Checkpoints
Our group is interested in the molecular mechanisms of cell division. One major focus is to understand how cells recover from a DNA damaging insult, such as those caused by some anti-cancer drugs, which activates a checkpoint and triggers cell cycle arrest. Specifically, we are working on unravelling the mechanism that promotes cell cycle re-entry once the checkpoint is switched off and how this is coordinated with DNA damage repair. We have established a number of assays involving FRET-based biosensors and fluorescent markers to monitor the appearance and repair of double-stranded DNA breaks, as well as inactivation and reactivation of the cell cycle machinery, in a single living cell. Using these assays we have identified several protein kinases and phosphatases that control recovery and are studying how they coordinate this with ongoing DNA repair.
 
Chromosome Segregation
We are also focusing on the mechanisms underlying bipolar spindle assembly, which is required to segregate chromosomes during cell division, particularly to understand how the correct balance of forces is established. For this we monitor spindle assembly and chromosome segregation in living cells. We have uncovered several novel roles for motor proteins and are working towards a global picture of motor-dependent control of spindle assembly. A secondary aim is to exploit chromosome segregation errors as a means to selectively target the fitness of cancer cells. We have discovered that lagging chromosomes in cancer cells can break during telophase and cytokinesis, which can lead to chromosome translocations in the next cell cycle. We are also working on characterizing how chromosome cohesion is established after DNA replication, and how it is subsequently removed to allow for chromosome segregation and cell division.

Co-workers

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Marianne van Wieringen - Diepeveen

Personal Assistant

Experience

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Rob Klompmaker

Lab manager

Experience

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Raaijmakers, Jonne.jpg

Jonne Raaijmakers

Associate Staff Scientist

Experience

I studied Biomedical Science at the RU (Radboud University Nijmegen). In 2008, I started my PhD in the Medema lab.

I am interested in chromosome segregation and more specifically in how motor proteins and microtubule binding proteins cooperate in the formation and function of the mitotic spindle.

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Krenning, Lenno-2

Lenno Krenning

Associate Staff Scientist

Experience

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Menegakis, Apostolos

Apostolos Menegakis

Postdoctoral Fellow

Experience

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Experience

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Gonzalez Manjon, Anna

Anna González Manjón

Ph.D. student

Experience

I studied Human Biology at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. I did my master on Pharmaceutical Industry and Biotechnology. In 2016, I joined the Medema lab to do my Master internship and afterwards I started my PhD.

I am interested in studying the epigenetic landmarks of the chromatin in DNA damaged regions and how these influence the control of gene transcription.

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Anoek Friskes

Anoek Friskes

Ph.D. student

Experience

In 2018 I started my PhD in the lab of René Medema, where I work on the relationship between Epigenetics, DNA Damage and Repair. I am interested in how chromatin is able to deal with break formation and how the epigenetic landscape is restored during or after DNA repair.

Before the start of my PhD, I finished the Masters Program 'Biomedical Sciences' at Groningen University. During the program, I performed two internships; the first in the lab of Floris Foijer to identify genes that drive aneuploid cancer cell proliferation, the second internship was at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore in the lab of Andrew Holland involving understanding the molecular mechanisms that control centriole biogenesis. 

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Janssen, Louise

Louise Janssen

Ph.D. student

Experience

In 2016 I started my PhD in the lab of René Medema, where I investigate the vulnerabilities of chromosomal instable cells. Normally, cells are not able to cope with chromosomal instability (CIN). However, cancer cells can tolerate CIN and many cancers display chromosome missegregations. During my PhD, I will characterize and exploit pathways needed for the survival of CIN cells.

Before starting my PhD I completed the Master Biomedical Sciences at the University of Leiden, during which I performed an internship at the lab of René Medema regarding defects in the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint. 

 

 

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Vergara

Xabier Vergara Ucin

Ph.D. student

Experience

I am a molecular biologist with a strong interest in genomic instability and its implication in cancer development. I performed my bachelor in Biochemistry and a master in Cancer Biology in Barcelona. After working at Karolinska Institute for a year, I started in September 2018 as a joint PhD student in the Medema and Van Steensel labs. As a PhD student, I am studying the effect of chromatin landscape on DNA repair.

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Koob

Lisa Koob

Ph.D. student

Experience

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Hintzen, Dorine-2

Dorine Hintzen

Ph.D. student

Experience

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Research updates View All Updates

  • Student positions Medema lab

    If you are interested in performing a research internship (>6 months) in our lab, please ask j.raaijmakers@nki.nl for current vacancies including your motivation and CV.

Key publications View All Publications

  • Comparative phosphoproteomic analysis of checkpoint recovery identifies new regulators of the DNA damage response

    Sci Signal. 2013 Apr 23;6(272):rs9

    Halim VA, Alvarez-Fernández M, Xu YJ, Aprelia M, van den Toorn HW, Heck AJ, Mohammed S, Medema RH

    link to PubMed
  • p53 Prohibits Propagation of Chromosome Segregation Errors that Produce Structural Aneuploidies

    Cell Rep. 2017 Jun 20;19(12):2423-2431. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.05.055

    Soto M, Raaijmakers JA, Bakker B, Spierings DCJ, Lansdorp PM, Foijer F,  Medema RH.

    Read more
 
 

Recent publications View All Publications

  • FoxM1 repression during human aging leads to mitotic decline and aneuploidy-driven full senescence

    Nat Commun. 2018 Jul 19;9(1):2834

    Macedo JC, Vaz S, Bakker B, Ribeiro R, Bakker PL, Escandell JM, Ferreira MG,  Medema  R, Foijer F, Logarinho E.

    Read more
  • Chromosomes trapped in micronuclei are liable to segregation errors.

    J Cell Sci. 2018 Jul 9;131(13). pii: jcs214742. doi: 10.1242/jcs.214742

    Soto M, García-Santisteban I, Krenning L,  Medema RH, Raaijmakers JA.

    Read more
 

Contact

  • Office manager

    Mariet van den Berg

  • E-mail

    ma.vd.berg@nki.nl

  • Telephone Number

    +31 20 512 9184

Van den Berg, Mariet

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