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Oncogenomics: Wilbert Zwart

Research interest: Hormone-Associated Cancers

As a lab, we position ourselves as a multidisciplinary translational endocrinology group. As such, we operate at the intersection of genomics, pathology, cell biology and molecular pathology. I strongly believe that combining specialities from different research fields is key for innovative translational science in cancer research. The hormone-related mechanisms in transcriptional regulation of breast cancer, endometrial cancer and prostate cancer are tightly linked, creating many opportunities for synergy between the research lines in the lab. The central theme of our research projects revolves around personalized cancer treatment, where we aim to identify novel biomarkers and to unravel the underlying biological mechanisms. 

 

Co-workers

Schuurman

Karianne Schuurman

Analist

Experience

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Beerthuijzen, Suzanne

Suzanne Beerthuijzen

Analist

Experience

I graduated in Biomedical Sciences from Utrecht University where I also obtained my Master's degree in Biology of Disease. During my Master's I worked on chronic rejection patterns after heart transplantation at UC Davis, CA in the group of William Murphy where I looked into the effect of obesity on immunotherapy response. In 2018, I started working as a research associate at Genmab in the target discovery group. In December 2019 I joined the lab of Wilbert Zwart as a technician focusing on progressive metastatic breast cancer for tailored therapy selection. 

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Donaldson-Collier, Maria

Maria Donaldson Collier

Postdoctoral Fellow

Experience

I received my Bachelor's degree from the University of Vermont, USA in Biology and Chemistry. Following graduation, I worked at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, in the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Haber and Dr. Shyamala Maheswaran understanding mechanisms of breast cancer metastasis through the study of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). I matriculated as a doctoral student in the laboratory of Dr. Elisa Oricchio at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, where I studied the role of epigenetic alterations in lymphoma development and progression in the context of 3D chromatin architecture. As a post-doctoral research fellow at the NKI, I will focus on understanding the functional interplay between estrogen receptor (ERα) and DNA damage in breast cancer development and progression.

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Hoogstraat, Marlous

Marlous Hoogstraat

Postdoctoral fellow

Experience

After finishing my bachelor bio-informatics in Leiden, I started a PhD at the Center for Personalized Cancer Treatment at the UMC Utrecht. My main projects involved the analyses of somatic variants, copy number changes and gene expression data. We used these data to compare and characterize multiple tumor samples from single patients, for instance from different metastases or before and after treatment. At the NKI, I will use the same data types, but now my main focus will be on predicting response to therapies in breast cancer patients and characterization of the different breast cancer subtypes.

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Kojic

Aleksandar Kojic

Postdoctoral Fellow

Experience

I obtained my Bachelor's degree in molecular biology and my Master's in human molecular genetics from the Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade (Serbia). For my doctoral training I joined the Chromosome Dynamics group at the CNIO (Madrid). My research was focused on elucidating functional specificities of cohesin complex variants in 3D genome organization and gene regulation. After graduating in 2018, I joined the Zwart group at the NKI (Amsterdam) as a postdoctoral fellow and my current research focuses on the role of Estrogen Receptor alpha in endometrial cancer development and progression, in the context of 3D genome.

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Sarah Libring

Sarah Libring

Postdoctoral Fellow

Experience

I obtained my B.S. in biomedical engineering from Rutgers University and am currently working toward my Ph.D. in the same at Purdue University under Dr. Luis Solorio. I received a National Science Foundation funded fellowship (IIE-GIRE) to study abroad with Dr. Zwart in Spring 2020. I am working on an on-going collaboration between the labs to establish the utility of our fibronectin-coated engineered scaffolds for precision medicine in metastatic breast cancer. 

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Prekovic, Stefan

Stefan Prekovic

Postdoctoral Fellow

Experience

I obtained my master's degree in molecular genetics at the Centre for Human Molecular Genetics, University of Belgrade (Serbia). Following that, I moved to the Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven (Belgium), where I did my doctoral training. The focus of my research there was the molecular biology of the androgenreceptor and resistance to antiandrogens in prostate cancer. After graduating in June 2017, I moved to Amsterdam (Netherlands) and started work as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Wilbert Zwart. My current research focuses on nuclear receptor genomics in non-endocrine cancers.

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Severson, Tesa

Tesa Severson

Postdoctoral Fellow

Experience

I received my doctoral degree from Utrecht University with a focus on characterizing molecular and genetic features of breast cancer to better identify subgroups for specific treatments. In order to study these features and integrate different data streams, I applied computational tools to analyze high-throughput genomics data from patient samples.

Currently, I am working in the lab of Wilbert Zwart emphasizing on prostate cancer using computation applications to interrogate the (epi-) genomic and transcriptomic landscape of prostate cancer patient samples.

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Eickhoff, Nils

Nils Eickhoff

Ph.D. student

Experience

In 2017, I finished my bachelor's in Molecular Medicine at the Georg-August University Göttingen with a thesis project at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in the group of Marie Arsenian-Henrikson. Back in Göttingen I continued with a master in Molecular Biology at the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS). During my thesis, I worked in the Lab of Prof. Markus Bohnsack where I investigated RNA interacting and modifying proteins. In 2019, I started a PhD position at the NKI as part of the TRIM-NET Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Training Network (MSC-ITN). My work will focus on the interaction of TRIM proteins with AR and their possible functionalities as new therapeutic targets.

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Joosten, Stacey

Stacey Joosten

Ph.D. student

Experience

In 2012, I obtained a bachelor degree in biomedical sciences at the VU University of Amsterdam. My bachelor internship at the Hubrecht Institute inspired me to specialize in oncology. I enrolled in the master Oncology at the VU University Medical Centre, for which I performed two additional internships at the Cancer Centre Amsterdam and the NKI-AVL. I also pursued a degree in healthcare policy.

Recently, I joined the lab of Wilbert Zwart as a PhD student. In collaboration with the group of Sabine Linn, we aim to develop a predictive profile for endocrine treatment in breast cancer.  

 

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Kneppers

Jeroen Kneppers

Ph.D. student

Experience

As a 2016 MSc Molecular Life Sciences graduate from Wageningen University (WUR), I have investigated gene editing tools such as CRISPR-Cas12a in the Zhang lab at the Broad Institute, Cambridge, USA. My current technical expertise are in Molecular Biology, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and CRISPR. My research project at the NKI focuses on interactions of nuclear receptors in the prostate cancer microenvironment. Eventually, it is my hope that our findings results in the discovery of better prognostic biomarkers, which will enable improved personalized treatment of patients.

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Linder, Simon

Simon Linder

Ph.D. student

Experience

I obtained my Bachelor's as well as my Master's degree in Biomolecular Engineering from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. Within my Master's studies I have performed an internship at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in the lab of René Medema. In June 2017, I joined the groups of Wilbert Zwart and André Bergman as a Ph.D. student. Here, my project focuses on genome-wide profiling of Androgen Receptor action in clinical specimens, in search of biomarkers for prognostication and treatment selection in prostate cancer.

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Mayayo Peralta, Isabel

Isabel Mayayo Peralta

Ph.D. student

Experience

I graduated in Medical Biochemistry from the University of Navarra (Spain). Next, I obtained my Master's degree in Medical Biology from the University of Amsterdam. Being interested in oncological research, I joined the lab of Dr Wilbert Zwart as a PhD student in December 2016.

In my project, I will focus on progressive metastatic breast cancer. With this project we aim to gain new insights into the proteomic, genomic and epigenetic landscape of the metastatic disease in relation to personalised therapeutic approaches.

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Padrao

Nuno Padrão

Ph.D. student

Experience

I graduated in Biochemistry from the University of Porto, Portugal, where I developed a new diagnostic tool to accurately detect bladder cancer, as my internship. Afterwards, I obtained a master degree in Molecular Medicine and Oncology from the same university, where I worked with Inflammatory bowel disease, glycobiology and genetic alterations. Recently, I have joined Wilbert Zwart's group as a PhD student, integrated in a MSCA-ITN called TRIM-NET. My goal on this project is to unravel the role of TRIM proteins in hormone-dependent breast cancer development and help develop new drug targets.

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Visser, Emira

Emira Visser

Ph.D. student

Experience

I received my bachelor degree in Biomedical Engineering at the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e) in 2016, after which I continued with my Master of Science in Chemical Biology. During my master, I focused on the stabilization of 14-3-3 protein-protein interactions using fragment-based drug discovery approaches. I continued this work in 2019 when I started a PhD in the group of Luc Brunsveld at the TU/e and in the group of Wilbert Zwart at the NKI. My research is focused on the development of molecular stabilizers which can potentially be used as an alternative treatment for breast cancer. 

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Zaalberg, Anniek

Anniek Zaalberg

Ph.D. student

Experience

I received my Master's degree in Oncology from the VUmc School of Medical Sciences, during which I performed two internships. One in the group of Heinz Jacobs at the NKI and one in the group of Shawn Demehri at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where I investigated the mechanism of cancer development in the context of chronic inflammatory conditions.

In September 2017 I started as a PhD student in the group of Andre Bergman and Wilbert Zwart. My research project is mainly focused on defining the immune landscape in prostate cancer, the interaction of immune- and tumor cells and the effect of androgen signaling in immune cells.

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Zhu, Yanyun

Yanyun Zhu

Ph.D. student

Experience

I did my master in Wageningen University in food safety from 2013 to 2015. During my study, I followed my interest in oncology and did both of my master thesis and internship in this field, which studied the mutation of TP53 gene and the ERα positive breast cancer, in the toxicology department (the group of professor Ivonne Rietjens) of Wageningen University. 
Motivated by my strong interest in oncology, I decided to do a Ph.D. after I finished my master. In July 2016, I joined the groups of Wilbert Zwart and Andre Bergman as a Ph.D. student. My project focusses on biomarker discovery for response to Enzalutamide treatment in prostate cancer.

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Key publications View All Publications

  • Androgen receptor profiling predicts prostate cancer outcome

    (2015) EMBO Mol Med. Sep 27. pii: e201505424. doi: 10.15252/emmm.201505424. [Epub ahead of print]

    Stelloo S, Nevedomskaya E, van der Poel HG, de Jong J, van Leenders GJ, Jenster G, Wessels LF, Bergman AM, Zwart W.

    Link to PubMed
  • Characterizing steroid hormone receptor chromatin binding landscapes in male and female breast cancer

    Nature Communications, 2017

    Severson T, Kim Y, Joosten S, Schuurman K, van der Groep P, Moelans C, ter Hoeve N, Manson Q, Martens J, van Deurzen C, Barbe E, Hedenfalk I, Bult P, Smit V, Linn SC, van Diest P, Wessels LFA, Zwart W.

    Link to PubMed
 
 

Recent publications View All Publications

  • Molecular underpinnings of enzalutamide resistance

    (2018) Endocr Relat Cancer

    Prekovic S, van den Broeck T, Linder S, van Royen ME, Houtsmuller AB, Handle F, Joniau S, Zwart W, Claessens F.

    Link to Pubmed
  • The Estrogen Receptor α-Cistrome Beyond Breast Cancer

    (2016) Mol Endocrinol. Oct;30(10):1046-1058.

    Droog M, Mensink M, Zwart W.

    Link to PubMed
 

Contact

  • Office manager

    Elise Marseille

  • E-mail

    e.marseille@nki.nl

  • Telephone Number

    +31 20 512 2015

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