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Principal Investigator

Dr W.M. (Willy) Baarends

Principal Investigator

  • Department
  • Developmental Biology



Willy Baarends received her PhD from Erasmus University Rotterdam in 1995, where she cloned the anti-müllerian hormone type II receptor, and studied the gonadal expression of this receptor. Subsequently, she worked as a post-doc, in the Erasmus MC Department of Reproduction and Development. At present, she holds a tenured position as a staff member at this department.

Willy Baarends

Her current work involves research on the regulation of chromatin structure and gene expression during gametogenesis. This includes studies on the function of the postreplication DNA repair enzymes HR6A and HR6B in these processes. In addition, she aims to elucidate the role of several double strand break DNA repair proteins in meiosis. [Read more about her research]


  • Live cell analyses of synaptonemal complex dynamics and chromosome movements in cultured mouse testis tubules and embryonic ovaries.
    Enguita-Marruedo A, Van Cappellen WA, Hoogerbrugge JW, Carofiglio F, Wassenaar E, Slotman JA, Houtsmuller A, Baarends WM. Chromosoma. 2018 Mar 26. doi: 10.1007/s00412-018-0668-7
  • Repair of exogenous DNA double-strand breaks promotes chromosome synapsis in SPO11-mutant mouse meiocytes, and is altered in the absence of HORMAD1.
    Carofiglio F, Sleddens-Linkels E, Wassenaar E, Inagaki A, van Cappellen WA, Grootegoed JA, Toth A, Baarends WM. DNA Repair (Amst). 2018 Mar;63:25-38.
  • Round Spermatid Injection Rescues Female Lethality of a Paternally Inherited Xist Deletion in Mouse. Federici F, Magaraki A, Wassenaar E, van Veen-Buurman CJ, van de Werken C, Baart EB, Laven JS, Grootegoed JA, Gribnau J, Baarends WM. PLoS Genet. 2016 Oct 7;12(10):e1006358.
  • Genomes of Ellobius species provide insight into the evolutionary dynamics of mammalian sex chromosomes. Mulugeta E, Wassenaar E, Sleddens-Linkels E, van IJcken WF, Heard E, Grootegoed JA, Just W, Gribnau J, Baarends WM. Genome Res. 2016 Sep;26(9):1202-10.
  • SPO11-independent DNA repair foci and their role in meiotic silencing. Carofiglio F, Inagaki A, de Vries S, Wassenaar E, Schoenmakers S, Vermeulen C, van Cappellen WA, Sleddens-Linkels E, Grootegoed JA, Te Riele HP, de Massy B, Baarends WM. PLoS Genet. 2013 Jun;9(6):e1003538
  • Schoenmakers S,  Wassenaar E, Hoogerbrugge JW, Laven JS, Grootegoed JA, and Baarends WM. (2009) Female meiotic sex chromosome inactivation in chicken. Plos Genetics, 5(5):e1000466
  • Inagaki A, van Cappellen WA, van der Laan R, Houtsmuller AB, Hoeijmakers JH, Grootegoed JA, and Baarends WM. (2009) Dynamic localization of human RAD18 during the cell cycle and a functional connection with DNA double-strand break repair. DNA Repair (Amst) 8(2): 190-201.
  • Schoenmakers S, Wassenaar E, van Cappellen WA, Derijck AA, de Boer P, Laven JS, Grootegoed jA, and Baarends WM. (2008). Increased frequency of asynapsis and associated meiotic silencing of heterologous chromatin in the presence of irradiation-induced extra DNA double strand breaks. Dev Biol 317: 270-281.
  • Baarends WM, Wassenaar E, Hoogerbrugge J, Schoenmakers S, Sun Z-W, and Grootegoed JA. (2007). Increased phosphorylation and dimethylation of XY body histones in the Hr6b knockout mouse is associated with derepression of the X chromosome. J Cell Sci 120, 1841-1851.
  • Baarends WM, Wassenaar E, van der Laan R, Hoogerbrugge JW, Sleddens-Linkels E, Hoeijmakers JH, de Boer P and Grootegoed JA. (2005). Silencing of unpaired chromatin and histone H2A ubiquitination in mammalian meiosis Mol Cell Biol 25, 1041-1053.
  • van der Laan R, Uringa EJ, Wassenaar E, Hoogerbrugge JW, Sleddens-Linkels E, Odijk H, Roest HP, de Boer, P, Hoeijmakers JH, Grootegoed JA and Baarends WM. (2004). Ubiquitin ligase Rad18Sc localizes to the XY body and to other chromosomal regions that are unpaired and transcriptionally silenced during male meiotic prophase. J Cell Sci 117, 5023-5033.
  • Baarends WM, Wassenaar E WHJ, van Cappellen G, Roest HP, Vreeburg JT, Ooms MP, Hoeijmakers JH, and Grootegoed JA (2003). Loss of HR6B ubiquitin-conjugating activity results in damaged synaptonemal complex structure and increased crossing-over frequency during the male meiotic prophase. Mol Cell Biol 23:1151-1162.

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