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image Andre Uitterlinden
Research group/lab  |  P.I. Professor dr. André Uitterlinden

Genetic Laboratory of Internal Medicine / Population Genomics

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

About our research group/lab

Our research

Research activities within the Laboratory for Population Genomics focus on genetics and genomics of complex traits and common diseases and are assigned to six research lines. Our research group is closely connected to the Human Genomics Facility which provides services to internal and external customers.

Complex Diseases
(Professor dr. André 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 of Locomotor Diseases and Ageing 
(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
(Professor 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
(Dr. Annemieke Verkerk, UD)

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

Microbiome Genomics
(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. 

Complex and Rare Bone Disorders
(Professor dr. Carola Zillikens)

We study the mechanisms of complex and rare bone disorders, aiming to find novel therapeutic targets for treatments of disurbances in bone and mineral homeoatasis.

Our projects

Complex Diseases  --  Prof. dr. André 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. (Koers 23)


Population Genomics of Locomotor Diseases and Ageing  --  Prof. dr. Joyce van Meurs

The interplay between MGP and VitK in the ethiology of osteoarthritis. 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.(Reumafonds) 2017-2020

VOILA. Vitality oriented lnnovation for the Lífecourse of the Ageing society (ZonMW)

FOCUM. (Reumafonds)

FEROA. ldentification of the female specific etiology and risk groups for osteoarthritis (ZonMW-GENDER) 2017-2020


Translational Skeletal Genomics  --  Prof. dr. Fernando Rivadeneira

Genomics of Musculoskeletal Traits Translational Network (GEMSTONE) brings together a large international network of multidisciplinary experts seeking to translate genomic discoveries to the clinic.  (EU COST Action)

Training network for research into bone Fragility In Diabetes across Europe (FIDELIO): towards a personalized medicine approach; one work package and two of the 12 ITN projects are coordinated by our group with special focus on genomic and gut microbiome research. (EU MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ITN)


Mendelian Genetics  --  Dr. Annemieke Verkerk, UD

Genefinding in families with hereditary diseases.

Genetics of Lung fibrosis and leukemia (telomeric disease). (Coolsingelstichting;  with dr. Leonie Vergouw)

Collaboration with professor dr. Carola Zillikens on Atypical Femur Fractures. 


Microbiome Genomics  --  Dr. Robert Kraaij, UD

Gut microbiome in dementia. (ZonMW-Memorabel)

Mrace MOVE. (Erasmus MC grant; with professor dr. Greet Vos)


Complex and Rare Bone Disorders  --  Prof. dr. Carola Zillikens

Genetics of Atypical Femur Fractures (NHMRC Australia) 


Key Publications

We publish extensively in major scientific journals, mainly through our international collaborations in consortia which result in highly cited papers. Please see  publications in the profiles of our researchers.


Students who obtained their PhD degree in our group:

 Sadaf oliai araghi_cover

Micronutrients and Health in Older Population: Friend or Foe?
S. (Sadaf) Oliai Araghi, March 2021
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden / B.H.C. (Bruno) Stricker
Copromotor: J.C. Kiefte-de Jong / N. (Nathalie) van der Velde

Cindy Boer_cover

Osteoarthritis: genetics and phenotypes in all their complexity
C. (Cindy) Boer, Dec 2020
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden
Copromotor: J.B.J. (Joyce) van Meurs

Jeroen van Rooij_cover

Sequencing, from blood to brain
J.G.J. (Jeroen) van Rooij, 
Dec 2020
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden / 
J.C. (John) van Swieten
Copromotor: J.B.J. (Joyce) van Meurs

Katerina Trojanoska_cover

The interplay of bone and muscle in health and disease
K. (Katerina) Trajanoska,Oct 2020
Promotor: F. (Fernando) Rivadeneira
Copromotor: M.C. (Carolina) Medina Gomez

Natalia Campos Obando cover

Bone and Phosphate in Relation to Health, Survival and Genetic Factors
N. (Natalia) Campos Obando, May 2020
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden / M.C. (Carola) Zillikens

Pooja Mandaviya cover

Effects of Methyl-group metabolism and lifestyle factors on genome-wide DNA methylation
P.R. (Pooja) Mandaviya, June 2018
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden / J. (Jan) Lindemans
Copromotor:  J.B.J. (Joyce) van Meurs / S.G. (Sandra) Heil

Annelies Ham_cover

Medication use, falls and genetic variants in an older population
A.C. (Annelies) Ham, June 2017
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden / B.H.C. (Bruno) Stricker
Copromotor: N. (Nathalie) van der Velde

Ester de Jonge_cover

What to eat for healthy bones? Epidemiological studies on diet, bone, health and frailty
E.A.L. (Ester) de Jonge, Dec 2016
Promotor: O.H. (Oscar) Franco / A.G. (André) Uitterlinden
Copromotor: F. (Fernando) Rivadeneira / J.C. Kiefte-de Jong

Carolona Medina-Gomez_cover

Disentangling the heterogeneity of bone accrual
M.C. (Carolina) Medina Gomez, May 2016
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden
Copromotor: F. (Fernando) Rivadeneira

Marjolein de Kruijf_cover

A journey full of pain through the general population
M. (Marjolein) de Kruijf, April 2016
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden / F.J.P.M. Huygen
Copromotor: J.B.J. (Joyce) van Meurs

Marjolein Peters

Integrating genomic approaches to understand ageing
M. J. (Marjolein) Peters, March 2016
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden
Copromotor: J.B.J. (Joyce) van Meurs

Ling Oei_cover

Epidemiological, Radiological and Genetic Aspects of Endocrine Bone Diseases
L. (Ling) Oei, Dec 2016
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden
Copromotor: F. (Fernando) Rivadeneira

Martha Castano Betancour_cover

Hip osteoarthritis: genetics, epiemiological risk factors and burden of the disease
M.C. (Martha) Castaño Betancourt, March 2015
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden
Copromotor: J.B.J. (Joyce) van Meurs

Anke Enneman_cover

The role of homocysteine in bone
A. (Anke) Enneman, Nov 2014
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden
Copromotor: M.C. (Carola) Zillikens

Yvonne Louwers_cover

Polysystic ovary syndrome: from phenotype to genotype
Y.V. (Yvonne) Louwers, Febr 2014
Promotor: J.S.E. (Joop) Laven / A.G. (André) Uitterlinden
Copromotor: L. (Lisette) Stolk

Eline Rodenburg_cover

Sex differences in cardiovascular drug response
E.M. (Eline) rodenburg
Promotor: B.H.Ch. (Bruno) Stricker / A.G. (André) Uitterlinden
Copromotor: L.E. Visser

Dissection of the complex genetic architecture of human stature and osteoporosis
K. (Karol) Estrada, June 2012
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden
Copromotor: F. (Fernando) Rivadeneira

Hanneke Kerkhof_cover

Genetics of osteoarthritis: what a pain!
J.M. (Hanneke) Kerkhof, March 2012
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden
Copromotor: J.B.J. (Joyce) van Meurs

Lisette Stolk_cover

Genetics of estrogen-related traits; from candidate genes to GWAS
L. (Lisette) Stolk, Dec 2009
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden
Copromotor: J.B.J. (Joyce) van Meurs

Carola Zillikens_cover
The interplay of genes and diet in metabolic diseases and aging: studies on obesity, osteoporosis and survival
M.C. (Carola) Zillikens, Oct 2009
Promotor: A.G. (André) Uitterlinden / B.A. (Ben) Oostra / C.M. (Cock) van Duijn



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 
(Professor dr. André Uitterlinden)

Koers 23

Population Genomics of Locomotor Diseases and Ageing 
(Dr. Joyce van Meurs, UHD)





Translational Skeletal Genomics
(Professor dr. Fernando Rivadeneira)

EU COST Action


Mendelian Genetics
(Dr. Annemieke Verkerk, UD)

Coolsingelstichting;  with dr. Leonie Vergouw

(NHMRC Australia; with professor dr. Carola Zillikens

Microbiome Genomics
(Dr. Robert Kraaij, UD)


Erasmus MC grant; with professor dr. Greet Vos

Complex and Rare Bone Disorders
(Professor dr. Carola Zillikens)



Career opportunities

Our group offers career opportunities for talented genomics researchers.  In addition we offer internships at academic and non-academic levels. Please inquire for vacancies or possibilities (e.vanveen@erasmusmc.nl).


Our team

Principal Investigators
Profile picture of André Uiterlinden Profile picture of Joyce van Meurs
Prof. dr. André Uitterlinden  Prof. dr. Joyce van Meurs
Profile picture Carola Zillikens
Prof. dr. Fernando Rivadeneira Prof. dr. Carola Zillikens
Profile picture of Robert Kraaij Profile picture of Annemieke Verkerk
Dr. Robert Kraaij Dr. Annemieke Verkerk
Veen-Eline-van Verkerk-Marijn_IT
 Eline van Veen (secretariat) Marijn Verkerk (IT support)
Profile picture of Carolina Medina-Gomez Boer-Cindy
Dr. Carolina Medina Gomez Dr. Linda Broer Dr. Cindy Boer
Dr. Jeroen van Rooij Dr. Ling Oei Dr. Leonie Vergouw 
PhD students (Prof dr. Joyce van Meurs)
Profile picture of Ingrid Szilagyi
Arjan Bergink Bahar Sedaghati Khayat 
 Ingrid Kennis-Szilagyi
Lieke Kuiper Yahong Wu
 PhD students (Prof dr. Fernando Rivadeneira)
Enisa Shevroja
Olja Grgíc  Fjorda Koromani  Enisa Shevroja
Samuel Ghatan  Ruolin Li  Xinpeng He
profile picture of Haojie Lu profile picture Jiawei Li
Haojie Lu Jiawei Li  Artemis Gkitakou
Danielle Ratsma    
Danielle Ratsma    
PhD students (Dr. Robert Kraaij)
Djawad Radjabzadeh     

PhD students (Prof dr. Carola Zillikens)

Denise van de Laarschot  Jinluan Chen  Vivi Zhou
profile picture of Tracey Lu
Ariadne Bosman  Komal Waqas  Tracey Lu
Zografia Zervou    
Zografia Zervou    

"Our research group is closely connected to the Human Genomics Facility, which provides services to internal and external customers.

Human Genomics Facility    
Management:  Prof. dr. André Uitterlinden &  Prof.dr. Joyce van Meurs
 profile picture Gaby van Dijk  Veen-Eline-van  Verkerk-Marijn_IT

Dr. Gaby van Dijk


Eline van Veen (Secretariat) Marijn Verkerk (IT)
 Dr. Linda Broer   Dr. Costanza L. Vallerga  Joost Verlouw 
 Jard de Vries    
Lab technicians    
 Jhamai-Mila  Arp-Pascal Buyukcelik-Ramazan
Mila Jhamai (Labmanagement)  Pascal Arp  Ramazan Buyukcelik
Verbiest-Michael Alawi-Zhara Koet-Thomas
Michael Verbiest   Zara Alawi  Thomas Koet 
 Ramessersing-Pawan  Nistiman-Mandu  
Pawan Ramessersing  Mandu Nistiman  






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