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erlenmyer-research
Research group/lab  |  P.I. Prof.Dr. André G. Uitterlinden

Genetic Laboratory of Internal Medicine

Our mission is to understand the genetics of complex traits and common diseases and apply the discoveries in clinical practice

About our research group/lab

Our research

Our research focuses on genomics of complex diseases within large scale cohorts, such as the Rotterdam Study and Generation R. Our research group is closely connected to the Human Genomics Facilitywhich provides services to internal and external customers. Our laboratory has five research lines:

Complex Diseases (PI: Prof. Dr. A.G. Uitterlinden)

We study genetics and genomics of several common complex diseases and their risk factors, including endocrine and reproductive traits, and more in general ageing. We focus on bringing discoveries and genomic technology into the clinic. 

Population Genomics (PI: Dr. Joyce van Meurs, UHD)

We study population genomics of age-related diseases, with a special focus on osteoarthritis and chronic pain. Focus is also on integrative genomics in population cohorts where multiple genomic levels are combined to understand and predict disease.

Translational Skeletal Genomics (PI: Dr. Fernando Rivadeneira)

We study the determinants of skeletal diseases along the life-course (with special focus on osteoporosis), seeking the translation of genomic discoveries into clinical applications. We do this by applying state-of-the art “big data” analytics integrating genomic functional assessments, imaging and other forms of medical data. 

Mendelian Genetics (PI: Dr. Annemieke Verkerk, UD)

We study monogenetic disease with Mendelian transmission and the population genetic context of pathogenic variations in disease genes. 

Microbiome Genomics (PI: Dr. Robert Kraaij, UD)

We study the microbial organisms in and on our body with next generation sequencing techniques, both in large cohort studies as well as in clinical settings. 

Our projects

Below are a few highlights of ongoing projects in the department. More detail is to be found at websites of individual PI’s.

  • GSA consortium (Genotyping array; PI Uitterlinden):
    By placing a very large order with Illumina in 2016 we can since offer very cheap genotyping (28,50 euro per sample) for, among other things, Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) with a rich genotyping array (Global Screening Array with 850.000 DNA variants); 1,3 million samples will be genotyped.
  • GOALL project (Koers23 project; PI Uitterlinden):
    In 2019 the Board of Directors endorsed this Genotyping on ALL patients (GOALL) project as a strategic goal within Erasmus MC. The project delivers tools, pipelines, and structures for using genetic information in the clinic such as polygenetic risk scores, Mendelian mutation panels, and pharmacogenetics. 
  • GEMSTONE (EU COST Action; PI Rivadeneira):
    Genomics of Musculoskeletal Traits Translational Network - The project brings together a large international network of multidisciplinary experts seeking to translate genomic discoveries to the clinic. 
  • FIDELIO (EU MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ITN; PI Rivadeneira):
    Training network for research into bone Fragility In Diabetes across Europe: towards a personalized medicine approach (FIDELIO); one work package and two of the 12 ITN projects are coordinated by our group with special focus on genomic and gut microbiome research.
  • The interplay between MGP and VitK in the ethiology of osteoarthritis (REUMAFONDS; PI van Meurs):
    We have recently identified MGP to be involved in osteoarthritis through a genome-wide association study. This project aims to elucidate how decreased function of MGP/ VitK affects cartilage/bone homeostasis and confers risk to osteoarthritis.

Key Publications

We publish extensively in major scientific journals, mainly through our international collaborations in consortia which result in highly cited papers. Please see references and PubMed searches at websites of our individual PI’s to get an impression.

Collaborations

Collaboration within Erasmus MC

We have strong historic ties with the department of Epidemiology, in the creation and conduction of the Rotterdam Study of elderly and the Generation R birth cohort, Erasmus MC Research Core Facilities). Furthermore, we closely collaborate with the departments of Clinical Genetics, Clinical Chemistry, Orthopedics, Radiology and Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

Collaboration outside of Erasmus MC

Most of our work takes place in large international consortia of collaborating investigators, several of which we have initiated ourselves (e.g., GEFOS, CHARGE, ReproGen, GO; see links below)

Funding & Grants

Complex Diseases (PI: Prof. Dr. A.G. Uitterlinden)

  1.  GOALL on implementing SNP genotyping arrays in the clinic. (Koers23 project Erasmus MC)

Population Genomics (PI: Dr. Joyce van Meurs, UHD)

  1. The interplay between MGP and VitK in the ethiology of osteoarthritis (REUMAFONDS)
  2. IFEROA (ldentification of the female specific etiology and risk groups for osteoarthritis (ZONMW-GENDER) 
  3. VOILA (Vitality oriented lnnovation for the Lífecourse of the Ageing society) ( ZONMW)
  4. FOCUM (REUMAFONDS)

Translational Skeletal Genomics (PI: Dr. Fernando Rivadeneira, UHD)

  1. GEMSTONE  (EU COST Action)
  2. FIDELIO (EU MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE)

Mendelian Genetics (PI: Dr. Annemieke Verkerk, UD)

  1. Genetics of Lungfibrosis (Coolsingelstichting;  with Dr. Leonie Vergeer)
  2. Atypical Femur Fractures (NHMRC Australia; PI Dr Zillikens) 

Microbiome Genomics (PI: Dr. Robert Kraaij, UD)

  1. Gut microbiome in dementia (ZonMW-Memorabel)
  2. MRACE MOVE (Erasmus MC grant; with Prof. Greet Vos)

Career opportunities

Our group offers career opportunities for talented genomics researchers; please inquire for vacancies.
In addition we offer internships (stageplaatsen, afstudeerplekken) at all levels, academic and non-academic.

Our team

Senior/PI’s

Support:

  • Eline van Veen (secretariat)
  • Marijn Verkerk (onderzoeksmedewerker IT/systems administration)
  • Dr. Gaby van Dijk (project manager

PostDocs:

PhD’s:

  • Drs. Arjan Bergink  
  • Drs. Bahar Sedaghatikhayat
  • Drs. Cindy Boer
  • Drs. Djawad Radjabzadeh 
  • Drs. Denise van de Laarschot 
  • Drs. Elisa Shevroja 
  • Drs. Fjorda Koromani 
  • Drs. Elizabeth Benz Inalaf  
  • Drs. Jinluan Chen 
  • Drs. Vid Prijatelj
  • Drs. Jeroen van Rooij
  • Drs.  Katerina Trajanoska .
  • Drs. Natalia Campos Obando 
  • Drs. Olja Grgic 
  • Drs. Ingrid Szilagyi
  • Drs. Sadaf Oliai Araghi 
  • Drs. Kamal Waqas
  • Drs. Vivi  Zhou 
  • Drs. Ariadne Bosman

Bio-informaticians

  • Dr. Linda Broer 
  • Dr. Costanza Valerga
  • Joost Verlouw 
  • Jard de Vries

Lab technicians:

  • Zara Alawi 
  • Pascal Arp
  • Ramazan Buyukcelik
  • Sergio Chavez Chavez
  • Mila Jhamai (hoofdanalist)
  • Thomas Koet 
  • Pawan Ramessersing 
  • Michael Verbiest 
  • Pelle van der Wal

Any questions or comments?

Please contact our office.

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