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Research FacilitiesIcoon afspelen
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Find out more about the research facilities in the Netherlands Cancer Institute

Modern day biomedical research depends on expensive equipment and techniques that can take years of practice to do well. Individual researchers need to use a wide range of techniques for their work. It is impossible for anyone to master them all or be given the money to buy all the equipment they are likely to need. The NKI has resolved this problem and used its funding in the most efficient way by creating dedicated centralized technology facilities that serve the whole Institute. All NKI scientists have direct access to these facilities. Most facilities have trained and dedicated operators that assist the researchers doing their experiments in one of the facilities. Periodic review of the facilities ensures that they maintain a high standard.


Bioanalytical Laboratory of the Pharmacy
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The Bioanalytical Laboratory of the Pharmacy: partners in bioanalysis

We are a partner for research groups and pharmaceutical companies in the bioanalysis of samples from clinical studies and pre-clinical studies according to the FDA and EMA guidelines and in compliance with GC(L)P and GLP. Our services are delivered by dedicated employees who are highly knowledgeable and experienced in the techniques required for bioanalytical clinical and pre-clinical research. We assist our sponsors to deliver their clinical data on time.

  • Toxicology studies
  • Early to late phase clinical trials (phase I - IV)
  • Mass Balance and Metabolite Profiling studies
  • Micro dosing studies
  • Bioavailability studies
  • Bioequivalence studies
  • Food effect studies
  • Drug interaction studies
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring

For further information please contact Jos Beijnen ( or Hilde Rosing (

The Bioanalytical Laboratory of the Netherlands Cancer Institute is part of the Pharmacy Division (Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology) and is currently located in the MC Slotervaart (2nd floor, B-wing), Louwesweg 6, 1066 EC Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

More information about the Bioanalytical Laboratory

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Biostatistics Center
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Biostatistics Center

"To consult the statistician after an experiment is finished is often merely to ask him to conduct a post mortem examination. He can perhaps say what the experiment died of." R. A. Fisher, geneticist, biologist and statistician

In other words: think before you start!

The success of a project relies heavily on good planning, including experimental design and power calculation. We can advise researchers on these topics, including when high-dimensional data is involved.
Starting with the main research questions, we put together an experimental design and an analysis plan. Power analyses can subsequently be done. This part should be included in the project proposal.
Our expertise Our group has wide expertise which includes classic statistical problems, analysis of high-dimensional data such as omics data, as well as genetic screen data.
Transparent and reproducible research Data analyses need to be well understood by all involved in the project. This helps us provide better advice, as well as researchers present their results better. In addition, research results must be reproducible and traceable, so that someone else later on can follow and reproduce findings.
To this end, we use R for all data analysis. It gives flexibility as even relatively new statistical methods are implemented as R packages. In addition, we use Rmarkdown, which combines comments describing the analysis, scripts performing the analysis, and results.
Contact us Researchers can contact us via the email for an appointment.

Preparing your data  Researchers are responsible for providing the data to be analysed in a suitable format. Datasets from classic clinical studies should be organized in a table form, with one row per individual and one column per variable. If categorical variables are included, classes corresponding to codes used must be provided in a separate file. The data should reach us in a tab- or comma delimited format.

For studies involving omics data, per data type the following (tab- or comma-delimited) files should be provided: the omics data with features on rows and samples on columns, with unique row identifiers as well as unique column identifiers; the annotation data with features on rows and annotation variables on columns, with the same type of row identifiers as the omics data; and a phenotypic data table, which is a file with samples on rows and sample annotation variables on columns, including one column with the column identifiers of the omics data file. If multiple types of omics data are provided, then a single phenotypic data table may be used, where the column identifiers of each omics data file is included as a separate variable.
Resources In all our projects, we use R.

One convenient interface to use R is RStudio, which is free and can be used with all operational systems. It has useful features to help you with writing clear code.

Another convenient tool is the RStudio package RMarkdown. This tool enables you to combine comments, scripts and output in a single document. This is an easy way of making your research transparent and reproducible. Your RMarkdown report containing your data analysis can be made available for publication in a scientific journal or repository, together with your manuscript and the data.

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BioTherapeutics Unit
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BioTherapeutics Unit

The BioTherapeutic Unit (BTU) is embedded in the divisions of Molecular Oncology & Immunology and Hospital Pharmacy at the Netherlands Cancer Insititute - Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (NKI-AVL) and is responsible for the development and production of the biotherapeutic products, mainly used for experimental immunotherapy.

Four dedicated, fully equipped and state-of-art class A/B cleanrooms are available for production activities under full Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). We are particularly experienced in the production of T cell products and plasmid DNA, but we are also interested to further expand the current product portfolio.

The BTU is producing products for clinical trials performed by academic partners or industrial partners and is especially experienced in the translation of lab derived protocols to a clinical production process.
Please contact us for further information or collaborations.

Click here for more information. 


  • BioTherapeutics Unit (BTU)
Carcinogen laboratory
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Carcinogen Laboratory

In cancer research we use a lot of dangerous compounds.  The carcinogen lab is a research facility where carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic compounds can be stored and were these compounds can be handled under special safety conditions.
The carcinogen laboratory is mainly used to prepare solutions using chemicals in a powder form. The chemicals can be weighted in a fume hood, dissolved and then taken out of the carcinogen laboratory for use in experiments. The lab is under-pressured, has a higher than normal ventilation fold and is equipped with two safety hoods.
Researchers can get instructions on how to work with carcinogens and about safety aspects. The instructions and the information is given by one of the supervisors of this facility. They also make sure everything is working properly and is kept clean and tidy.

Click here for more information about the Carcinogen laboratory

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BioImaging facility
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BioImaging Facility

The BioImaging facility offers high level and broad range light microscopy facilities to all researchers in the Netherlands Cancer Institute. The equipment consists of nine microscopes: four confocals, four wide-field ones and a TIRF setup. Together they form a complementary set of instruments. Live cell imaging capabilities are implemented on three confocals, two wide-field microscopes and the TIRF setup. The staff provides extensive support to users by e.g. introducing them to the systems, offering help and advise in using the microscopes and taking care of image archiving. Importantly, continuous quality control of the instruments, in its broadest sense, is provided as well.

Click here for more information about the BioImaging facility

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Electron microscope facility
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Cryo Electron Microscope Facility

The Electron Microscope (EM) facility enables researchers at the Netherlands Cancer Institute to look at cellular structures and protein complexes at high magnification. The dedicated EM operator performs the sample preparation and acquisition of data.

The EM-lab is located at the NKI, location B8. Here all the preparation of the samples and sectioning with the ultramicrotomes is done. Since September of 2015 the facility makes use of the electron microscopes at the AMC.

For information contact Hans Janssen (

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Flow cytometry facility
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Flow Cytometry Facility

Flow cytometry is a powerful tool to quickly characterize millions of individual cells and, if needed, sort the cells based on their characteristics. The analysis is based on the size and complexity of the cell, in combination with the presence of fluorescence signals in the form of antibodies, fluorescent proteins or other dyes. The Flow cytometry facility gives researchers access to a variety of cell analysers and sorters. The dedicated operators of the flow cytometry facility give training, technical support with experiment setup, take care of the maintenance of the equipment and perform sorting experiments.

Click here for more information about the Flow cytometry facility.

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Genomics Core facility
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Genomics Core Facility

The Genomics Core Facility offers Next Generation Sequencing services using Illumina equipment (HiSeq2500 and MiSeq). Next generation sequencing is a very versatile technology that has applications in many different experiments. Sequencing data can be used to discover mutations in the exome or smaller targeted gene sets, find genome wide copy-number variations, analyze RNA expression levels or read complete inventories of small RNA or the results of functional genetic screens. In addition to the wet lab part the facility also provides data storage and bioinformatics support and maintains access to several commercial tools like Ingenuity and Nexus. Investigators have the option to hand in cells, tissue, tumor, RNA, DNA or prepared sequence libraries for analysis.

Click here for more information about the Genomics Core Facility.

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Molecular Pathology & Biobanking Core facility
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Molecular Pathology & Biobanking Core Facility

The Core Facility Molecular Pathology & Biobanking (CFMPB) registers, coordinates, assists and facilitates research involving archived human/patient material. This concerns all research using NKI-AVL Biobank material from the department of Pathology (the FFPE tissue archive and frozen tissue bank) and the department of Clinical Chemistry (the serum and blood biobank). The facility provides professional expertise, appropriate sample and tissue based experimentation, and implements optimally controlled medical-ethical issues according to the 'Code of conduct'.

Click here for more information about the Molecular Pathology & Biobanking.

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Mouse clinic - Imaging Unit
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Mouse Clinic - Imaging Unit

Preclinical imaging systems are essential for accurate measurements of tumor growth, metastasis formation, and therapy response in mouse models of human cancer. For this purpose, a dedicated Imaging Unit has been created within the NKI animal facility. The goal of this unit is to carry out innovative research that addresses relevant questions encountered by clinical imaging of cancer patients.

The imaging unit consists of an imaging suite of both functional and anatomical imaging for the purpose of in vivo imaging in mice. The systems available in the imaging unit are small animal versions of similar devices available in the clinic for the purpose of translational research. A list of available imaging devices and their main uses are listed on the following page. 

Click here  for more information about the Mouse Clinic Intervention unit.

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Mouse clinic - Intervention unit
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Mouse Clinic - Intervention Unit

Our goal is to use advanced mouse models as surrogate cancer patients to identify and validate targets that can be exploited by anti-cancer therapy. Various approaches to treat cancer with classical chemotherapy, targeted inhibitors, immunotherapy, radiotherapy or combinations thereof are ongoing. Special emphasis is given to target the clinical handicap of therapy escape. To support these activities, a dedicated preclinical intervention and imaging unit facilitates accurate measurement of tumor growth, metastasis formation, and therapy response in several mouse models of human cancer.

Click here for more information about the Mouse Clinic Intervention unit.

  • Mouse clinic - Preclinical Intervention Unit
Mouse clinic - transgenic core facility
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Mouse Clinic - Transgenic Core Facility

The Netherlands Cancer Institute has a very strong history in the generation and validation of mouse models of human cancer. Many conditional mouse strains for tumor suppressor alleles have been generated here and are routinely used worldwide. In that context, the Transgenic core facility accommodates all activities required to generate genetically modified animals as well as cryopreservation.

Click here for more information about the Mouse clinic - transgenic core facility.

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Protein facility
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Protein Facility

The Protein facility of the Netherlands Cancer Insitute provides support at all levels of protein research, including the production and purification of proteins, biophysical characterization and high-throughput protein crystallization screening. The facility offers know-how, (biological) tools and access to dedicated equipment to assist both in routine- as well as more challenging projects.

Click here for more information about the Protein facility.

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Proteomics facility
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Proteomics Facility

Proteomics aims at identifying and/or quantifying proteins and their post-translational modifications in various cell systems and matrices. The Proteomics Facility offers proteomics services for both NKI- and external researchers, to assist them and collaborate on routine- as well as on more challenging projects. Investigators have the option to hand in protein samples for analysis by liquid chromatography-coupled tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). We strongly encourage interested researchers to visit us and discuss the experimental design prior to submitting samples to the Facility. 

Click here for more information about the Proteomics Facility.

  • Proteomics Facility
Radionuclides centre
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Radionuclides Center

The Radionuclides centre (RNC) is the facility for researchers who want to perform their radioactive experiments in the Netherlands Cancer Institute. This centre has several containment levels (B, C and D-level) in which a range of experiments can be performed. Also, the facility provides regular courses (Radiation Protection level 5B) for people who want to use radioactivity during their experiments. The staff of the RNC provides help and advice on various aspects of radioactivity.

Click here for more ionformation about the Radionuclides centre.

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Research IT
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Research IT

The Research IT facility has the mission to develop solid and sustainable Information Technology (IT) infrastructure to provide state-of-the-art IT services to NKI-AvL researchers.

To see the services we offer and our team, click here

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Robotics and Screening Center
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Robotics and Screening Center

The Netherlands Cancer Institute Robotics and Screening Center (NRSC) provides  advanced technology platforms to perform large scale screening projects using cell based- or biochemical read-outs. The NRSC provides acces to large collections of functional genomic screening tools including genome wide siRNA, shRNA and CRISPR collection. In addition, the NRSC has a genome wide cDNA/ORF collection and numerous small molecule collections. These screening technologies enable researchers to discover novel gene functions, to unravel molecular pathways and mechanisms, to discover novel drug targets and to support the identification of small molecules both for biological tools and novel drug leads. The NRSC provides technology and infrastructure for medium to high throughput applications, provides support and expertise for automated cell and non-cell based assays and is used for the development, production and maintenance of large screening reagent collections.

Click here for more information about the Robotics and Screening Center.

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Technology Transfer Office
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Technology Transfer Office

The NKI has a mission to beat cancer and performs world-beating research to increase our understanding of this disease. The knowledge that is gained in this way sometimes opens avenues for development of e.g. novel treatments or new diagnostic tests.

To achieve its mission, NKI actively collaborates with private companies that have the knowledge and the means to develop products based on research results obtained at our institution.

Go to the site of TTO

Contact: TTO at +31 (0)20 512 1999 or via

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Sequence Core Facility
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Sequence Core Facility

The Sequence Core Facility offers a service for DNA sequencing, fragment analysis and mass spectrometry  for research groups and the clinical DNA-diagnostics laboratory. The Sequence Core Facility uses two sequencers, the 3730 DNA analyzer and the 3500xL Genetic Analyzer and the MASS-Array for mass spectrometry.

Click here for more information about the Sequence Core Facility.

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Clinical Research Unit (CRU)
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Clinical Research Unit (CRU)

Phase 1 studies are being conducted by the Department of Clinical Pharmacology in collaboration with the Clinical Research Unit (CRU).

For more information about our phase I trial unit, click here.

  • Spoed CRU 10


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