I was trained as a Molecular Biologist and did my master and PhD at the University of Groningen. During my PhD training I discovered a small non-coding RNA and studied its role in lymphoma. After that I did a postdoc at Stanford University (USA) which I used to better understand how small non-coding RNAs function in normal blood cells. Currently I am working at the Department of Pathology of the University Medical Center Groningen.
My team studies how different species of non-coding RNAs are involved in lymphoma. We believe that understanding how these RNA molecules work will help us to better understand the molecular pathways that are affected in lymphoma or other types of cancer. We expect that in the long run this knowledge can be used for the development of improved treatment strategies.
Introduction to research at vaccin for Lymphoma – workshop Lymph&Co
Cancer research over the past decades has mainly focused on the role of proteins, the most important building blocks in the cells of our body. However the information that is encrypted in our DNA to make all proteins is only 2-3% of all the DNA present in each cell. The remaining 97% was long thought to be unimportant and also named Junk DNA. It has become clear over the last years that this junk DNA actually encodes for important other molecules called non-protein coding RNA molecules. These molecules do not only play important roles in normal cell biological processes but also in diseases such as cancer.