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K. (Kimberley) Ober-Vliegen, MSc

Research Technician

  • Department
  • Surgery
  • Focus area
  • In vitro 3D organoid modeling and analysis. Role of cholangiocytes in the NAFLD/MAFLD to NASH progression



During my scientific career, I have experienced firsthand the importance of fundamental and translational research. The correlation of translational research and its direct impact on quality of life and daily clinical practices, has always interested me deeply. Bringing die hard cell culture science closer to the patient, from (lab-)bench to bedside. In which the generation, optimalization and validation of donor- or patient-derived 3D organoid culture models enable a more accurate representation of the in vivo environment, bridging the gap between in vitro and in vivo research.
The thriving environment of extensive liver transplantation and stem cell biology research stimulates my creativity and replenishes my thirst for knowledge and new practical experiences, impelling me to sustain a high level of enthusiasm, motivation, dedication, and creative problem solving. As a senior member of the LETIS group from 2022, I have supported a broad range of different studies and projects, to further explore the scientific adventures of the experimental (liver) transplantations laboratory.

Field(s) of expertise

Understanding the underlying mechanisms of NAFLD/MAFLD progression towards NASH with a special focus on the indispensable role of cholangiocytes, by developing in vitro models, establishing co-culture systems and elaborating on the involvement of each cell subtype individually.

Education and career

Kimberley started her professional education at the Hogeschool Leiden from 2010-2014, where she obtained her Bachelor of Applied Science degree with a major in Cyto-Histopathology and a minor in Immunology. She continued her educational path with a Master in Oncology at the VUmc in Amsterdam, attending optional courses in Proteomics, Life cell imaging, Viral oncology and Mouse morphology, and function and genetics from 2014-2019. Directly after her graduation she started as a technician in the group of Prof. J. Molenaar within the department of Precision Medicine in Pediatric Cancer at the Princess Maxima Center in Utrecht from 2019 till 2022. in which she predominantly focused on the automated high-throughput screening of individualized 3D tumoroid models and their subsequent initiation, optimization and validation. Since 2022, she continued her scientific adventure at the Erasmus MC (Department of Surgery, Laboratory of Experimental Transplantation and Intestinal Surgery (LETIS) headed by Prof. Luc van der Laan) under the supervision of Monique Verstegen. In close collaboration with her colleagues from the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (MDL), she plays an important role in donor- or patient-derived 3D culture initiation, optimization, differentiation and validation, developing potential novel in vitro disease models.


Kimberley OberFloris J M RoosGilles S van TienderenKübra KötenAnnelot KlaassenWunan MiLuc J W van der LaanMonique M A Verstegen. Protocol for inducing branching morphogenesis in human cholangiocyte and cholangiocarcinoma organoids. STAR Prot. 2023 Jul 9;4(3):102431. doi: 10.1016/j.xpro.2023.102431.


Teaching activities

Supervision of interns (HBO&WO)

ACE-SCORE organizing committee

ML-2 lab-responsible person.

My Groups