I studied Biology in Utrecht and received my PhD in 2002 at Leiden University. Since then I am working at the laboratory for calcium and bone metabolism, initially as a postdoc working on the role of epithelial calcium channels and now as a group leader. The overall aim of the calcium and bone research group is to develop better diagnostics and therapies for skeletal disorders and disturbances in calcium/phosphate homeostasis.
Current research interests
- Bone anabolic approaches and regeneration.
I aim to identify novel pathways, small molecules and genetic modifications in human bone cell models and animals to improve bone formation. In addition, I am studying cell-cell interaction in physiologically relevant microfluidic Organ-on-Chips (OoC) to mimic the process of fracture healing.
- Calcium and phosphate homeostasis I am interested in the mechanisms underlying disturbed calcium and phosphate homeostasis and the consequences of this and excessive phosphate intake in the population for the skeleton. I will study homeostasis at the molecular and cellular level but also in patients with chronic disturbances in mineral metabolism and in population studies.
Field(s) of expertise
- Skeletal disorders
- Calcium homeostasis
- Phosphate homeostasis
- Osteoblast biology
- Osteoclast biology
- Osteocyte biology
- Calcium channels
- Bone marrow adiposity
- Microcomputed tomography
- Bone phenotyping
Education and career
- Scientific Program committee member European Calcified Tissues Society (ECTS) meeting 2020
- Co-chair of ECTS E-learning action group
- Executive Board member (Treasurer) and working group coordinator of the International Bone Marrow Adipose Society (BMAS)
- Scientific Advisory Board member of the Dutch Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva society
- Editorial board member for Biomolecules
- Editorial Board Member Frontiers in Bone Biology
- Biosafety officer, Internal Medicine, section Endocrinology
Scholarships, grants, and awards
Grants obtained as PI:
- 2018–2022; Health~Holland, foundation Life Sciences Health-TKI, €929,000
Title: Too much or too little phosphorus and its consequences for health(y aging.
- 2018-2022; Grant Kyowa Kirin Pharma BV, €100,000
Title: Establisment of a registry of patients with hypophosphatemic rickets.
- 2017-2021; PhD student grant, Chinese Scholarship Council; ±€80,000
Title: Microfluidic approach to study complex interactions during human fracture healing.
- 2017; Early stage Researcher grant (€2,500) by European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology for Sudanese clinical fellow Asmahan Abdallah to visit Erasmus MC for 3 months.
- 2016–2019; Horizon2020 MCSA-RISE-2015 #690850, €607,500; ±€90,000 allocated for Erasmus MC
Title: RUBICON: Training Network for Research on Molecular and Biomechanical Interactions in Connective Tissue Disorders.
- 2016; Educational grant by Kyowa Kirin Pharma BV, € 4,880
Title: Genetic screening of patients with hypophosphatemic rickets.
- 2016; Jacoba Breen grant , Erasmus Vriendenfonds, €42.350
Acquirement of Optics 11 Piuma nanoindentation device.
- 2010–2012; Netherlands Genomics Initiative, Horizon Breakthrough project, €100,000
Title: Blood-based microRNAs as novel biomarkers for the detection and severity of osteoporosis.
- 2005–2008; ZonMW-VENI (916.56.021), 3-year fellowship, €200,000
Title: The role of the novel calcium channels TRPV5 and TRPV6 in bone metabolism.
- 2019: Fight Frailty with Follistatin; Co-inventor; application pending
- 2019: Identification of biomarkers of Zika virus. Co-inventor.
- 2017: Methods for controlling mineralization of extracellular matrix, therapeutic methods based thereon and medicaments for use therein. Co-inventor.