About our research group/lab
Osteoporosis is a common skeletal condition with a large impact on quality of life as well as health care budget. Development of pharmaceutical and lifestyle interventions as prevention or as treatment is important and requires an optimal knowledge in etiology and mechanisms of development of osteoporosis but also other bone diseases.
Regeneration of bone
We aim to characterise the mechanisms behind bone cell differentiation and underlying bone formation and degradation using human bone cell models. Using a broad range of molecular, cellular and technical approaches, we gain insight into diseases where bone formation is not well controlled (osteoporosis, craniosynostosis) or during fracture healing.
We study the complex interactions between bone metastatic cancer cells and osteoblasts to identify new therapeutic approaches in bone metastases and potentially diagnostic profiles. For this, we use human bone and cancer cells in co-cultures and study their interaction at the molecular and cellular level, including the role of extracellular vesicles in cellular communication.
Rare bone diseases
We investigate the molecular mechanisms of rare, monogenic human diseases of disturbed bone and mineral metabolism as well as candidate bone anabolic genes derived from large population-based genetic studies. We use a combination of molecular, cellular, animal studies to further functionalize findings from individual patients and cohorts.
- Phospho-Norm: Unravel the etiology and consequences of disturbed phosphate homeostasis at the level of molecular mechanisms in bone cells to patient- and population-based studies.
- CranioRepair: Genome-editing applications using CRISPR-Cas are applied in regenerative medicine approaches for the treatment of Craniosynostosis
- Screening therapeutics for bone metastatic disease: Validation of a human bone metastatic disease model for the screening of FDA approved compounds towards therapeutic applications.
- Role of vitamin D in bone metastatic extracellular vesicle communication: Unravel the mechanisms by which vitamin D interferes in the crosstalk between bone cells and metastasized cancer cells.
- Fracture healing on a Chip: Study the interaction of bone-marrow derived cell types in a microfluidics system to screen for compounds that improve fracture healing.
- Dissection of mesenchymal stromal cell heterogeneity: Study cell to cell differences of bone marrow stromal cells and the functional role of transcription factors involved in the differentiation of osteoblasts.
- ZIKA virus and bone metabolism: Investigating the effect of ZIKA virus infection in human bone cell models to understand ZIKA virus-induced craniosynostosis and arthralgia.
Collaborations within Erasmus MC
- Gerjo van Osch, Roberto Narcisi; Department of Orthopedics
- Irene Mathijssen, Han van Neck; Department of Plastic Surgery
- Barry Rockx; Department of Virosciences
- Marc Raaijmakers, Erik Braakman; Department of Hematology
- Eric Farrell; Department of Maxillofacial Surgery
- Ingrid van der Pluijm, Jan Hoeijmakers; Department of Cell Biology
- Bert van der Horst; Department of Genetics
- Pim French; Department of Neurology
- Martin van Royen; Department of Pathology
Academic Centers of Excellences (ACEs):
- Bone & Joint
- Stem Cells, Organoids and Regenerative mEdicine (SCORE)
- Center for Research on Sustaining Health (CRSH)
- Urogenital Tumours
Collaboration outside of Erasmus MC
- André van Wijnen, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Mi, USA
- Moustapha Kassem, University of South Denmark, Odense, Denmark
- Lidy Fratila-Apachitei, Mechanical Engineering, TU Delft, the Netherlands
- Volkert van Steijn, Chemical Engineering, TU Delft, the Netherlands
- Malcolm Collins, Cape Town, South Africa
- Asmahan Abdalla, Khartoum, Sudan
- Annemarie Bruel, University of Aarhus, Denmark
- Veit Flockerzi, Saarland University, Homburg, Germany
- Wim van Hul, University of Antwerp, Belgium
- Carlijn Voermans, Sanquin, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
- Barbara Schrammeijer, Hogeschool Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- Debby Weijers, Stichting Proefdiervrij, the Netherlands
Funding & Grants
- Phospho-Norm: Health~Holland TKI grant
- CranioRepair: MRace PhD grant
- Screening therapeutics for bone metastatic disease: Human Disease Model Award, proof-of-concept grant.
- Fracture Healing-on-a-Chip: Chinese Scholarship Council
- Dissection of mesenchymal stromal cell heterogeneity: Chinese Scholarship Council
- RUBICON: Horizon 2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie - RISE