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Berge, Derk ten

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Derk ten Berge studied chemistry at Utrecht University (the Netherlands), and subsequently earned his PhD at the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology. His PhD work focussed on the role of homeobox genes in embryonic patterning. He demonstrated how these genes, by controlling the expression of signalling proteins, regulate cell behaviour in the developing embryo. He was awarded a Human Frontiers Long Term Fellowship and moved to the lab of Prof. Roel Nusse at Stanford University to investigate the role of Wnt signalling proteins in embryonic development and stem cell self renewal. He discovered that Wnt proteins are essential to maintain the undifferentiated state of embryonic progenitor cells during development, and that these proteins support self renewal of such cells and other types of stem cells in culture as well.

In the summer of 2009 he started a research group at the Erasmus MC Stem Cell Institute, focusing on the basic mechanisms of stem cell self renewal by extracellular factors, and the translation of these insights towards clinical approaches of regeneration. Recent results from his lab show that Wnt proteins regulate the transition between 2 different pluripotent states, challenging the dogma that pluripotency is a signal-independent ground state. Current projects focus on the role of Wnt signals in self renewal and differentiation of embryonic stem cells, epiblast stem cells, and hematopoietic stem cells and, in collaboration with Prof. Jan Cornelissen, ErasmusMC, on methods to expand human hematopoietic stem cells in culture for treatment of malignant hematological disorders.


stem cells Derk ten Berge

Ten Berge group pages


Key publications

Kurek, D. and ten Berge, D. (2012)
The signaling requirements for mouse embryonic stem cells
Cell Cycle 11:207-208

ten Berge, D., Kurek, D., Blauwkamp, T., Koole, W., Maas, A., Eroglu, E, Siu, R.K., and Nusse, R. (2011)
Embryonic stem cells require Wnt proteins to prevent differentiation to epiblast stem cells
Nature Cell Biology 13:1070-1075

Cooper, K.L., Kuang-Hsien, J., ten Berge, D., Fernandez-Teran, M., Ros, M.A., and Tabin, C.J. (2011)
Initiation of Proximal-Distal Patterning in the Vertebrate Limb by Signals and Growth
Science 332:1083-1086

Fuerer, C., Nusse, R. and Ten Berge, D. (2008)
Wnt signalling in development and disease
EMBO Rep 9:134-138

ten Berge, D., Koole, W., Fuerer, C., Fish, M., Eroglu, E. and Nusse, R. (2008)
Wnt signaling mediates self-organization and axis formation in embryoid bodies
Cell Stem Cell 3:508-518

ten Berge, D., Brugmann, S. A., Helms, J. A. and Nusse, R. (2008)
Wnt and FGF signals interact to coordinate growth with cell fate specification during limb development
Development 135:3247-3257