On this page you will find an overview of employees, students and guest researchers who have joined Oncogenetics. There is a seperate page with an overview of our (main) publications.

Rob Wolthuis – Lab Head/Principal investigator

Research interests
Traditionally, the Oncogenetics section utilizes patient-derived cell models and their cDNA complemented counterparts as isogenic cell models to investigate hereditary cancer genes. As a next step, we are now using CRISPR/Cas-based gene editing to engineer tissue-specific cell models of clinically relevant mutations for functional classification and to study their effects on tumorigenesis in vitro. In addition, we created a genome-wide CRISPR screening pipeline in Cas9-inducible diploid human epithelial cells to screen isogenic models of cancer genes. The aim of this approach is to reveal molecular genetic networks which help us to pinpoint candidate biomarkers and druggable vulnerabilities. We are also performing genome-wide screens in combination with targeted cancer drugs to uncover the drug-sensitizing effects of gene inactivation and putative drug-resistance mechanisms. Building on our growing expertise in CRISPR technology, we are developing applications that allow the use of Cas12 in genome diagnostics. In the future, we hope to explore ways to implement targeted gene editing in therapeutically relevant clinical genetics.

Josephine Dorsman – Principal investigator

Research interests
The focus of the group is on disorders associated with a genetic predisposition to cancer, particularly retinoblastoma (Rb) and Fanconi anemia (FA). Affected individuals carry mutations in genes functioning in the FA/BRCA pathway or the RB1 network, respectively. We take a bench-to-bedside approach: important questions arising in the clinic are addressed in the lab and vice versa. In the lab state-of-the-art genomics approaches, including RNA and DNA sequencing and CRISPR-based methods, are used with the ultimate aim to improve the care of affected individuals. Since the FA/BRCA and the RB1 tumor suppressor pathway are affected in many childhood and adult tumors, the proposed studies are expected to have a broad significance.

In addition, we have a research line inspired by the properties of cells of FA patients: an extreme sensitivity towards oxidative stress. This type of stress has been shown to be linked to a variety of age-related degenerative processes. In the framework of this project, we aim to identify novel genes involved in oxygen tolerance.

Highlights of the lab included the discovery of i) FA genes, ii) a novel type of Rb, and iii) a new human network giving rise to oxygen tolerance. Special attention is now also on the development of new non-invasive protocols for early detection or stratification of heritable tumors

Josephine Dorsman

Job de Lange – Principal investigator

Research interests
The research of the ‘cohesion team’ is centered on cohesin, a circular protein complex involved in multiple aspects of chromosome organisation. Our focus includes a variety of genetic syndromes related to impaired cohesin functioning, termed cohesinopathies, as well as cancer. Among various other aproaches, we generate genetic interaction networks of cohesion regulators in the presence of clinically relevant drugs, to gain insight into their specific functions and identify specific vulnerabilities of cancer cells with defective sister chromatid cohesion.

Gerben Vader – Principal investigator

Research interests
The research in my group is centered around the effects of aberrant expression of normally meiosis-specific genes on DNA repair dysfunction and/or re-wiring in cancer. We are interested in understanding how cancer cells exploit idiosyncratic DNA repair pathways and functionalities that normally act in meiosis. We employ a combination of state-of-the-art genetics, cell biology and cancer biology to define how these pathways might represent currently underexplored potential avenues for biomarker development and therapeutic intervention.

Govind Pai – Postdoc

Current research
We are interested in how defective DNA interstrand crosslink (ICL) repair in individuals with the heritable Fanconi Anaemia (FA) gives rise to tumours of the head and neck. Besides understanding the fundamental biology of these tumours, our efforts are to uncover new, targetable vulnerabilities of therapeutic value, using genome-wide, synthetic lethality screens.
We are also interested in how the mTORC1 cellular growth signalling pathway, when over-activated may cause “harmful” DNA replication stress in the context of multiple tumour types.

Henri van de Vrugt – Senior Scientist & Advisor

Current activities
Research interests include CRISPR Technology, Fanconi anemia, Bone Marrow Failure, DNA Replication & Interstrand Cross Link Repair

Rodrigo Gomes Leite de Oliveira – CRISPR consultant

Current Activities
Genome engineering through CRISPR/Cas is offering many new and exciting possibilities for cancer research as well as unprecedented potential clinical applications.

To assist with the development and implementation of this state-of-the-art technology, Cancer Center Amsterdam (CCA) has appointed me as CRISPR Consultant to assist CCA researchers with anything related to CRISPR/Cas (for more information, visit the CRISPR Expertise Center).

My activities include organizing meetings and annual courses for researchers interested in CRISPR and hosts an online community harboring lists of available reagents and protocols. As a consultant, I also assist with the design, optimization and implementation of CRISPR/Cas-related protocols and applications.

Thom Molenaar – Postdoc

Current Activities
I focus on how deregulation of the protein complex cohesin in cancer may provide handles for clinical exploitation.

Pictogram man

Iris Glykofridis – Junior researcher

Current research
In September 2015 I started my PhD in the lab of Rob Wolthuis, where I work on the cancer-predisposing syndrome Birt-Hogg-Dubé. In collaboration with the Oncoproteomics Laboratory of Connie Jimenez and the Clinical Genetics department I study the signal transduction pathways of Folliculin (FLCN).

Klaas de Lint – Junior researcher

Current research
Full-genome CRISPR/Cas9 screens for drug sensitivity and genetic interactions in sister chromatid cohesion and DNA repair networks, development of screen analysis methods, construction of new sgRNA libraries, as well as multiple collaborations.

Khashayar Roohollahi – PhD student

Current research
I am trying to characterize the significant and differential components of Fanconi Anemia (FA) deficient cell lines at genomic and transcriptomic levels, using high throughput analysis. My main focus is on FA head and neck cancer cells, differential ICL response in FA cells and mechanisms of ICL resistance in FA.

Janne van Schie – PhD student

Current research
I am interested in the process of sister chromatid cohesion in pathologies and normal biology, especially on the interplay between the cohesin complex and DNA replication. We use genome-wide CRISPR screens and DNA replication assays to study these processes.

Kavish Kohabir – PhD student

Current research
As of 2020, I am investigating the use of CRISPR-based diagnostics, under supervision of Erik Sistermans (lab for Genome Diagnostics) and Rob Wolthuis (Oncogenetics). As a shared PhD student between 2 sections of the department Clinical Genetics, I find myself in an interesting position between state-of-the-art scientific research and high-end clinical practice.

Maud Schoot Uiterkamp – PhD student

Current research
I focus on the expression of meiosis specific genes in cancer.

Mark Grannetia – PhD student

Current research
I focus on clinical application of CRISPR/Cas9 technology

Jesper Balk – Research technician

Current research
After graduation I started working as a Research technician at the Department of Tick-borne Diseases at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Utrecht University). After 2 years in 2011 I started working as a Research technician at the Oncology Department at the Amsterdam UMC. Currently I’m working on different projects in our group like Warsaw Breakage and Bird-Hogg Dubé.

Davy Rockx – Research technician

Saskia van Mil – Research technician

Current activities
I’m involved in a clinical study named: Study of Tumor Educated Platelets for early detection of breast cancer in blood in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers.

Martin Rooimans – Research technician

Current activities
I am involved in several projects (Cohesinopathy and Fanconi anemia) with a main focus on cell culture, protein analysis and microscopy.

Yne Waterham-de Vries – Research technician

Leyma Wardak – Research technician

Current activities
I am preparing a project proposal for a PhD scholarship of the Mosaic Program

Dominique Akse – Secretary


Yvonne de Jong             2017 – 2021       Postdoc

Daniël Warmerdam       2018 – 2020       CRISPR consultant

Renaud Tissier               2018 – 2020       Postdoc

Amr Zaini                        2018 – 2020       Postdoc

Lianne Vriend                 2017 – 2020       Postdoc

Atiq Faramarz                 2011 – 2020       PhD student

Zeliha Sahin                    2017 – 2019       PhD student