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Peter van der Spek

P.J. (Peter) van der Spek, Prof. Dr.

Principal Investigator

  • Department
  • Pathology



Professor of Clinical Bioinformatics of the department of Pathology at the Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam. Moreover I am a visiting Professor Bioinformatics at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. My expertise lies in molecular characterization of disease causing biochemical pathways in genetic disease. Besides the fundamental research based projects I have a long standing interest in translational medicine because of my history in pharmaceutical drug development. Under my supervision over 30 PhD students successfully defended their thesis. My publication list comprises more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed international journals with an h factor of 51.

Field(s) of expertise

Genetic diagnosis, Bioinformatics and Personalized treatment.

Education and career

Graduated 1990 BSc. & Master in Biochemistry & Histopathology from the Hogeschool West Brabant (Dr.Struycken Instituut). In 1995 I defended my thesis “Cloning and characterization of excision repair genes” supervised by Prof. JHJ Hoeijmakers and Prof. D. Bootsma at the Erasmus University department of Cell biology & Genetics. In 1996 I was appointed as a full professor at Osaka University Hospital and the Tokyo RIKEN institute department of Pharmaceutical Sciences under Prof F. Hanaoka. From 1997 -2000 I worked as the head of bioinformatics at Organon/Akzo-Nobel in the Netherlands and United Kingdom on fertility research. From 2000-2003 I worked at Janssen Pharmaceutica / Johnson & Johnson as the head of bioinformatics at JNJ Pharmaceutical Research & Development, Beerse, Belgium with Dr. Paul Janssen on neuropharmacology and CNS expressed (trace) amine receptors. Since 2004 I am a full professor at the Erasmus University Medical Center working on big data applications supporting novel innovative technologies for complex medical care. Moreover, van der Spek runs an immunological research program which provides the biological and technological basis for the bioinformatics group. It concentrates on the way the immune system and the genome as a whole contribute to the evolution, development, structure, and function of vital organs and defense mechanisms in our body relevant to both health and disease.


Teaching activities

  • Lectures during Master phase on best practices of big data applications in medical decision making
  • Lectures on data re-use with examples in cancer, cardiology, neurology, immune transplantation and pediatric rare (genetic) diseases.
  • Supervision of PhD students applying Multi-Omics technologies in fields such as: Cancer Research, Cardiology, Neurology, Infection & Immune diseases and Pediatric genetic disease.

Other positions

Visiting professor University of Chulalongkorn Bangkok, Thailand