"It is a privilege to work with the best scientists in the world in order to address the most challenging problems in healthcare."
Following medical school, I have completed a PhD degree in experimental oncology at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. Afterwards I obtained a fellowship of the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF), which allowed me to do a postdoc with Douglas Winton at the Cancer Research UK - Cambridge Institute of the University of Cambridge (UK). Upon my return to the Amsterdam UMC, I established my independent research group focusing on cancer heterogeneity and the dynamics of colorectal cancer development. In parallel, I have been training as an internist and medical oncologist. In 2017 I was appointed as professor of Molecular Oncology at the University of Amsterdam. The combination of fundamental research and clinical work has provided me with a unique insight into the needs of patients as well as the opportunities that state-of-the-art science provides to address these.
I joined Genentech in 2023 as head of the Discovery Oncology department. In that role I oversee the efforts at Genentech to deepen our understanding of cancer biology, and to identify and pursue targets for the development of new cancer drugs. In my laboratory, we focus on identifying the drivers of early cancer development in various organs and to delineate the crosstalk of cancer cell with their environment. The unique research infrastructure at Genentech and the world class scientists, allow us to pursue the boldest ideas with the best possible technology.
I had the pleasure to have guided and supported many PhD students and postdocs over the last years. As a postdoc mentor, I propagate the importance of interdisciplinary and collaborative science that positively impacts patients and society. For postdocs it is essential to feel the freedom to perform creative science in a supporting environment. Frequent interactions with recognized experts in a variety of disciplines will help postdocs grow into scientists who will shape the discoveries of the future. This is what the postdoc program at Genentech has to offer.