Chromosomal instability in Nature Genetics

Our collaborative study with the Kops laboratory is published in Nature Genetics. We performed detailed live-cell microscopy on patient-derived tumor organoids from colorectal cancer patients, to study chromosomal instability levels and cell fate options after erroneous divisions in correlation to karyotype evolution. Among others we show that chromosomal instability is prevalent and ongoing in CRCs, including those designated as hypermutated (microsatellite instable). Great work by Ana and Bas.

Snippertlab-Ovarian cancer

More organoids in Nature Medicine

Fantastic work from the Kloosterman and Clevers laboratories in Nature Medicine about the development of a new platform for the culture of ovarian cancer organoids. Nizar worked hard on the drug screening of these organoids to support the claim that these organoids can assist in personalized therapy design as well as drug development in a pre-clinical setting.


New knock-out organoids

Our new study is published in Oncotarget, featuring a CRISPR-screen to test the impact of RASGAP deficiencies on anti-EGFR therapy-resistance in colorectal cancer. Fantastic work by Jasmin to make genetic knock-out organoids and optimize biochemical analysis of the MAPK pathway in these models

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TOP grant

Together with the laboratories of Madelon Maurice and Onno Kranenburg, we received a TOP grant of €675k from ZonMW, the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development. We aim to understand why seemingly identical combinations of genetic alterations (mutations) can lead to different forms of colorectal cancer in terms of aggressiveness and therapy-resistance.

2017 nature-crop2


We welcome 2 new Postdocs to join our team.
Michiel Boekhout finished his first postdoc at MSKCC in NY, USA, studying double-strand break formation in DNA during meiosis (Keeney lab).
Suzanne van der Horst studied stem cells in C. elegans using real-time imaging and CRISPR-mediated genetic knock-ins (Van den Heuvel lab, UU).

Petra van Leenen finished her bachelors at the Hogeschool Utrecht after a successful internship in our lab. She will stay as a research technician.

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ERC starting grant

Hugo received a prestigious ERC starting grant (€1,5M) from the EU in support of our studies to understand the cause and consequence of diverging behaviors between different tumor cell types. The project will rely heavily on real-time monitoring of cell type specification in tumors (organoids), as well as quantitative measurements of signaling activities at the single-cell level. 

2018 MSB – crop

New paper is out

Integrated multi-omics analyses of organoid model systems to study lineage specification in the intestinal epithelium (Mol Syst Biol). Great work, spearheaded by the lab of Michiel Vermeulen, RIMLS, Nijmegen.

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HFSP young investigator grant

Together with the laboratories of Young Seok Ju (KAIST, Daejeon, SK) and Bon-Kyoung Koo (IMBA, Vienna, Austria), we received a Young Investigator grant ($1M) from the Human Frontier Science Program. We will study hyper mutagenesis on the course of tumor evolution in gastric cancers.

funding logos for news items_Oncode

Launch Oncode Institute

Official launch of Oncode Institute. The institute will support fundamental research in our fight against cancer. Hugo is proud to be a founding scientist of Oncode as junior investigator.


STAR reporter published in Cell reports

We developed and validated a synthetic enhancer/promoter element that provides specific transcriptional activity in intestinal stem cells. The reporter, called STAR, is a user-friendly system to monitor and manipulate stem cells in human organoids. Among others, we documented that cell fate plasticity in tumors is an inherited trait from normal cells, rather than acquired by specific cancer mutations.