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Looijenga, Leendert

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MScMM faculty member - Leendert LooijengaLeendert Looijenga received his PhD in Medical Biology from Erasmus University where he studied the pathobiology of human testicular germ cell tumors. Since 1990 he is heading one of the leading groups in the study of the pathogenesis of germ cell tumors, part of the department of Pathology. He made a number of novel findings, related to: the pattern of genomic imprinting; chromosomal constitution of the different subtypes of germ cell tumors (now accepted as one of the diagnostic criteria according to the WHO classification (WHO 2004)), identification of informative diagnostic markers (i.e., OCT3/4, TSPY, stem cell factor (SCF, KITLG), SOX2, SOX9 and FOXL2), including for patients with disorders of sex development (DSD). Various in vitro and in vivo models for germ cell tumors are generated and characterized.

He demonstrated that a specific set of microRNAs is characteristic for germ cell tumors, and in collaboration with the Netherlands Cancer Institute it was demonstrated that some are involved in overruling oncogenic stress in the development of germ cell tumors, explaining the unusual presence of wild type TP53 in these cancers. Most recently, a correlation between microsatellite instability, BRAF (V600E) mutation, overall methylation and chemotherapy resistance was demonstrated. This allows pre-selection of patients at risk for a more severe treatment protocol, possibly even targeted. He is a recipient of the VIDI award from the NWO with the goal to identify genes that induce selective advantage to cells after they become polyploid. He recently received the Emil Steinberger award for his contribution in Andrology.

Looijenga group pages



Looijenga LHJ, Van Agthoven T, Biermann K (2013)
Development of Malignant Germ Cells; The GENVIRONMENTAL Hypothesis?
Int J Develop Biol 57: 241-253

Basten SG, Davis EE, Gillis AJM, Van Rooijen E, Stoop H, Babala N, Logister I, Heath ZG, Jonges TN, Katsanis N, Voest EE, Van Eeden VJ, Medema RH, Ketting RF, Schulte-Merker F, Looijenga LHJ, Giles R (2013)
Mutations in LRRC50 predispose zebrafish and humans to seminomas
PLOS Genet 9(4): e1003384

Rijlaarsdam MA, Rijlaarsdam D, Gillis AJM, Dorssers LCJ, Looijenga LHJ (2013)
miMsg: a target enrichment algorithm for predicted miR-mRNA interactions based on relative ranking of matched expression data
Bioinformatics May 31

Cunningham JJ, Ulbright TM, Pera MP, Looijenga LHJ (2012)
Lessons from human teratomas to guide development of safe stem cell therapies
Nature Biotechn 340:849-857

Hersmus R, Stoop H, Van de Geijn GJ, Biermann K, Oosterhuis JW, DHooge C, Schneider DT, Meijssen IC,  Dinjens WNM, Dubbink HJ, Drop SLS, Looijenga LHJ (2012)
Prevalence of c-KIT mutations in gonadoblastoma and dysgerminomas of patients with Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) and ovarian dysgerminomas
PLoS One 7:e43952: Epub 2012 Aug. 28.