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Principal Investigator

Prof. M.H.G.P. (Marc) Raaijmakers, MD

  • Department
  • Hematology
  • Focus area
  • MDS, AML, hematopoietic stem cell, niche, bone marrow failure



Prof. dr. Marc H.G.P. Raaijmakers, MD, PhD is a professor of Hematology in the Department of Hematology at the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He received his MD from the University Utrecht and completed training in Internal Medicine and Hematology at the Radboud University Hospital in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

He completed postdoctoral research at the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, revealing a concept of niche-induced oncogenesis in the hematopoietic system. He (co)-authored papers and comments in leading journals including Nature, Cell, Cell Stem Cell, J. Exp. Med, Blood and Leukemia, served in the editorial boards of leading journals in the field of Hematology and provided numerous invited lectures at international meetings, including the European and national societies of Hematology (U.S.A., France, Germany, Spain and Japan).

He chairs the expertise center on Leukemia Predisposition Syndromes at the Erasmus MC Canncer institute and the EHA scientific working group on Rare Hematological Blood Cancers. His laboratory studies micro-environmental contributions to the pathogenesis of hematopoietic disease with an emphasis on the initiation and evolution of preleukemic disorders. He received scholar awards from the Dutch Cancer Society, the Dutch Society of Hematology, the Dutch Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society U.S.A. His clinical focus is in bone marrow failure syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia.

Education and career

Current affiliations

  • Professor of Hematology, Department of Hematology, Erasmus Medical Center Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 

Previous affiliation 

  • 2007-2010 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University, Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Harvard Medical School 


  • MSc Masters University Utrecht 01/09/1992
  • MD University Utrecht 01/09/1995
  • Radboud University Nijmegen: Board certification Internal Medicine 2005; Board certification Hematology 2007 
  • PhD 17/02/2006. Title thesis: “ABC transporter modulation in acute myeloid leukemia: Studies ` from the leukemic stem cell perspective”. Advisors: Prof. dr. T. de Witte, Prof. dr. J. Jansen, Dr. R. Raymakers 
  • 2017 Appointed full professor of Hematology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Chair: ‘Pathobiology of bone marrow failure and acute leukemia’

Research interests 

  • Hematopoietic stem cell biology and the hematopoietic microenvironment
  • Pathophysiology of bone marrow failure and leukemia predisposition states
  • MDS and AML



1. MHGP Raaijmakers and DT Scadden. Divided within: Heterogeneity within adult stem cell pools. Cell 2008: 6; 1006-1008.
2. MHGP Raaijmakers, S Mukherjee, S.Guo, T Kobayashi, S Zhang, J Schoonmaker, B Ebert, C Lin, J Rommens, DT Scadden. Osteoprogenitor cell dysfunction induces myelodysplasia and secondary leukemia. Nature 2010 Apr 8;464 (7290):852-7.
3. MHGP Raaijmakers. Disease progression in myelodysplastic syndromes: do mesenchymal cells pave the way? Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Jun 5;14(6):695-7.
4. Si Chen, Noemi A. Zambetti, Eric M.J. Bindels, Keane Kenswill, Athina M. Mylona, Niken M. Adisty, Remco M. Hoogenboezem, Mathijs A. Sanders, Eline M.P. Cremers, Joop H. Jansen, Arjan A. van de Loosdrecht, and Marc H.G.P, Raaijmakers. Massive parallel RNA sequencing of highly purified mesenchymal elements in low-risk MDS reveals tissue-context dependent activation of inflammatory programs. Leukemia. 2016 Sep;30(9):1938-42
5. Noemi A. Zambetti, Zhen Ping, Si Chen, Keane J. G. Kenswil, Maria A. Mylona, Mathijs A. Sanders, Remco M. Hoogenboezem, Eric M. J. Bindels, Maria N. Adisty, Paulina M. H. Van Strien, Cindy S. van der Leije, Theresia M. Westers, Eline M. P. Cremers, Chiara Milanese, Pier G. Mastroberardino, Johannes P. T. M. van Leeuwen, Bram C. J. van der Eerden, Ivo P. Touw, Taco W. Kuijpers, Roland Kanaar, Arjan A. van de Loosdrecht, Thomas Vogl and Marc H. G. P. Raaijmakers. Mesenchymal inflammation drives genotoxic stress in hematopoietic stem cells and predicts disease evolution in human pre-leukemia. Cell Stem Cell. 2016 Nov 3;19(5):613-627.
6. Genomic and functional integrity of the hematopoietic system requires tolerance of oxidative DNA lesions. Martín-Pardillos A, Tsaalbi-Shtylik A, Chen S, Lazare S, van Os RP, Dethmers-Ausema A, Fakouri NB, Bosshard M, Aprigliano R, van Loon B, Salvatori DCF, Hashimoto K, Dingemanse-van der Spek C, Moriya M, Rasmussen LJ, de Haan G, Raaijmakers MHGP*, de Wind N*. Blood. 2017 Sep 28;130(13):1523-1534.(*co-corresponding author).
7. Bhagat T, Chen S, Bartenstein M, Barlowe TS, von Ahrens D, Choudhary GS, Tivnan P, Amin E, Marcondes AM, Sanders MA, Hoogenboezem RM, Kambhampati S, Ramachandra N, Mantzaris I, Sukrithan V, Laurence R, Lopez R, Bhagat P, Giricz O, Sohal D, Wickrema A, Yeung CC, Gritsman K, Aplan PD, Hochedlinger K, Yu Y, Pradhan K, Zhang J, Greally J, Mukherjee S, Pellagatti A, Boultwood J, Will B, Steidl U, Raaijmakers MH*, Deeg HJ*, Kharas MG*, Verma A*. (*Co-corresponding author). Wnt/ß-catenin activation by epigenetically aberrant stroma drives myelodysplastic syndrome. Cancer Res. 2017 Sep 15;77(18):4846-4857.
8. Kenswil KJG, Jaramillo AC, Ping Z, Chen S, Hoogenboezem RM, Mylona MA, Adisty MN, Bindels EMJ, Bos PK, Stoop H, Lam KH, van Eerden B, Cupedo T, Raaijmakers MHGP. Characterization of Endothelial Cells Associated with Hematopoietic Niche Formation in Humans Identifies IL-33 As an Anabolic Factor. Cell Rep. 2018 Jan 16;22(3):666-678.
9. Activation of NF-κB driven inflammatory programs in mesenchymal elements is a biologic commonality in low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes. Si Chen,Zhen Ping,Keane Kenswil,Sjoerd J.F. Hermans,Eric M.J. Bindels,Athina M. Mylona,Niken M. Adisty,Remco M. Hoogenboezem,Mathijs A. Sanders,Eline M.P. Cremers,Dicky J. Lindenbergh-Kortleve,Janneke N. Samsom,Arjan A. van de Loosdrecht,and Marc H.G.P Raaijmakers. Leukemia. 2019 Feb;33(2):536-541. 
10. The mesenchymal niche in MDS.Pronk E, Raaijmakers MHGP. Blood. 2019 Mar 7;133(10):1031-1038.

Other positions

International scientific committees and advisory boards

  • 2019  ESH Translational conference on Bone Marrow Failure, co-organizer
  • 2019  EHA SWG MDS, subcommittee on Immunology of Bone Marrow Failure, member
  • 2018  ESH (European School of Hematology), Scientific Committee
  • 2018  EHA SWG Rare hereditary blood cancers, chair
  • 2018  HOVON Leukemia Group, Board
  • 2017  HOVON Leukemia Group, Steering Committee
  • 2013  MD Anderson, Department of Leukemia, AML P01 grant, External Advisory Board
  • 2014  French National Cancer Institute (INCa). President of Scientific Evaluation Committee: Biology and Basic Sciences for Cancer Research
  • 2013  French National Cancer Institute (INCa). Member scientific Evaluation Committee: Biology and Basic Sciences for Cancer Research
  • 2013  French Agency of Research Evaluation (AERES), Scientific Review Panel 
  • 2013  EHA Scientific Workgroup on Stem Cells. Scientific Advisory Board for meeting: ‘Cancer Stem Cells and their Microenvironment’.

National committees

  • 2018  ErasmusMC Research Council
  • 2017  Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) research council (‘Adviesraad’), lid beoordelingscommissie exploratie
  • 2015 - 2018 Dutch Society of Hematology, Annual meeting Program Committee
  • 2015 - 2018 Medical ethical review Committee Erasmus Medical Center
  • 2016  LEaDing Fellows Committee (review panel EU Horizon funded postdoctoral fellow program of universities Leiden, Delft and Rotterdam)

Clinical activities and expertise

  • 2018  Director NFU expertise center ‘congenital bone marrow failure and leukemia predisposition syndromes’ ErasmusMC Cancer Institute
  • 2018  Principal Investigator HOVON Phase III registration trial comparing midostaurin to gilteritinib in FLT3-mutated AML

Editorial boards

  • 2019  Hemasphere (open access Journal of European Society of Hematology)
  • 2016  Blood Advances (open access Journal of American Society of Hematology)
  • 2007 - 2013 Leukemia. 2010-2013 Section editor Leukemia: The bone marrow microenvironment, mesenchymal biology and contribution to disease 

Scholarships, grants, and awards

Prizes and awards

  • 2002 Dutch Cancer Society: Resident Research Fellowship Award 
  • 2005 Best Clinical Resident Award (University Medical Center Nijmegen, Department of Medicine) 
  • 2006 Dutch Cancer Society: Clinical Specialist Research Fellowship Award 
  • 2007 Dutch Society of Hematology: Jaap-Steenbergen Award (best Dutch PhD thesis in Hematology)
  • 2009 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society U.S.A.: Special Fellowship Award 
  • 2010 Dutch Cancer Society: Clinical Cancer Research Award 
  • 2011 Erasmus University Rotterdam: ‘Extraordinary Talent’ Fellowship Award
  • 2012 Clinical fellowship Award Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development
  • 2017 Dutch Society of Hematology: Best publication 2016 Award

Past and current research funding

  • 2002 Dutch Cancer Society. Resident fellowship: Role of ABC transporters in drug resistance of leukemic stem cells . Principal Investigator
  • 2007 - 2009 Dutch Cancer Society. Research Fellowship: Identification and characterization of survival kinases in primitive leukemic progenitor cells. Principal Investigator
  • 2009 - 2012 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society U.S.A. nr. 3369-10: ‘Osteoblast biology in hematopoietic disease. Principal Investigator 
  • 2010 Leukemia Foundation Rotterdam. The hematopoietic niche in regeneration. Principal Investigator 
  • 2010 - 2012 Vanderes Cancer Foundation, nr 224: ‘De rol van osteoprogenitor cellen in de pathogenese van myelodysplasie en secundaire leukemie’. Principal Investigator
  • 2010 - 2016 Dutch Cancer Society, Mass-2010-4733: ‘Bone progenitor cells in the pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndromes’. ( Euro 800.000). Principal Investigator
  • 2011 - 2015 Erasmus University Fellowship Award: ‘Targeting the niche for regenerative purposes’ (Euro 200,000). Principal Investigator
  • 2012 - 2017 Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research (NWO)/Netherlands Genomics Initiative, Zenith Award: Deconstructing niche contributions to oncogenesis in myelodysplasia. (Euro 500.000). Principal Investigator
  • 2012 - 2016 Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research: Clinical Fellowship Research Award nr. 90700422. Deconstructing niche contributions to leukemogenesis in a mouse model of myelodysplasia.. (Euro 160.000). Principal Investigator
  • 2012 - 2016 European Union Grant: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IRSES “The interplay among bone cells, matrices and systems”, Grant No 295181 - Acronym: INTERBONE. Partner
  • 2016 - 2018 Shwachman-Diamond Foundation U.S.A. (USD 60,000). Principal Investigator
  • 2017 - 2020 Dutch cancer Society, Project nr. 10488. Towards Niche Instructed Prognostication and therapeutic targeting in myelodysplastic syndromes. (Euro 565,436). Principal Investigator
  • 2018 - 2021 Dutch cancer Society, Project nr. 11092. ‘Niche lnflammation and Clonal Evolution in Bone Marrow Failure and Leukemia’ (Euro 691.449). Principal investigator
  • 2017 - 2019 Celgene Cooperation. Tissue profiling in Acute myeloid leukemia. (Euro 150,000). Principal investigator
  • 2018 - 2021 Worldwide Cancer Research (WWCR) 18-0587. Therapeutic targeting of the senescent niche in MDS. (UK pounds 228,951). Principal Investigator
  • 2019 - 2021 Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. Deconstructing mesenchymal niche contributions to disease pathogenesis in FPD/AML. (USD 250,000)



> 50 invited lectures at international conferences including the National Societies of Hematology of the USA, Germany, Spain, France and Japan.

Participating in research groups:

  • Research group on stem cell biology and niche contributions to bone marrow failure and leukemogenesis 

Participating in research projects:

  • 2017 - 2020 Dutch cancer Society, Project nr. 10488. Towards Niche Instructed Prognostication and therapeutic targeting in myelodysplastic syndromes
  • 2018 - 2021 Dutch cancer Society, Project nr. 11092. ‘Niche lnflammation and Clonal Evolution in Bone Marrow Failure and Leukemia’ 
  • 2017 - 2019 Celgene Cooperation. Tissue profiling in Acute myeloid leukemia
  • 2018 - 2021 Worldwide Cancer Research (WWCR) 18-0587. Therapeutic targeting of the senescent niche in MDS
  • 2019 - 2021 Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. Deconstructing mesenchymal niche contributions to disease pathogenesis in FPD/AML