My group studies population genomics of (biological) aging, 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.
Results from these large-scale genomic studies are being pursued towards developments of (personalized) new treatments and prediction tools. Our work has resulted in a better understanding of genetics of osteoarthritis, chronic pain and (healthy) aging. Recent work has concentrated also on implementing genetic and genomic results in the clinic, starting with genetic profiles, which have a wide potential to improve healthcare.
Field(s) of expertise
Population genomics, Functional genomics, locomotor disease, Biological aging, osteoarthritis, chronic pain.
Education and career
I am a trained Molecular biologist and acquired my PhD at Radboud University Nijmegen in Biomolecular Science, which gave me a basic and translational science background, including animal and cell model work. After that, I moved to the ErasmusMC to switch to the field of genetics and genomics in large populations focusing especially on locomotor diseases and aging. I entered this field at exactly the right moment, on the verge of large technical advances that fueled the human genome project, which is the basis of the genomics research field. It is fascinating to see how this field has taken an enormous flight delivering important new biological insights and is driving new discoveries for many diseases.
Teaching and communication about research results is important and is something that has been part of my activities throughout my career. I have been involved in setting up and coordinating several post-graduate courses in the field of genetics and genomics which are part of the NIHES and MOLMED research schools. I have initiated genomics workshops within the Rotterdam study, and on national level. Within the department of Internal Medicine, I coordinate the research master of the medicine students. For the near future, I feel teaching the society more about genetics and genomics is essential in order to be able to apply genomics technologies, more widely into the clinic and society.
- Coordinator Human Genomics facility
- Member of the Community Board of Health-RI representing genomics
- Principle investigator of Musculoskeletal diseases and genomics in the Rotterdam Study
Scholarships, grants, and awards
- Received grants from Dutch research council, Netherlands Organization for health and Development, Dutch arthritis foundation, National Institute of Health, and European Union.
19-4-2021 in het nieuws: