Welcome to our website! Our group is part of the Neuro-oncology Research Group (NRG) in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Cancer Center Amsterdam (Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc). Our interest is focused on understanding how genes transcribed by RNA Polymerase III are (mis)regulated in cancer cells, particularly tRNA genes in glioblastoma. Our goal is to understand how differential regulation of these genes promotes proliferation and/or oppose cell differentiation and how to interfere with these processes to impair cancer cell survival or proliferation. We combine fundamental research in cell and molecular biology coupled with advanced screening technologies to uncover the functions of these small non-coding genes with the aim to translate this knowledge into future clinical applications. More info



The vast majority of tRNAs in cells harbor a 3' CCA tail, essential for amino acid loading. Chantal found that in EVs, full-length tRNAs lacking an intact CCA are the most abundant small RNAs => EVs as tiny tRNA trash bags😉? Check out Chantal's preprint on bioRxiv!


A great review on the interplay between chromatin and the regulation of RNA Pol III-dependent genes written by Marlize (van Leeuwen lab) just appeared online in Biochemical Society Transactions!


Our project 'Decoding the emerging role of dynamic tRNA gene regulation in cancer and cellular adaptions to changing environments' in collaboration with the group of Prof Fred van Leeuwen at the NKI is among the 29 innovative collaborative research projects funded by ZonMW in the 2023 Open Competition round! More info here or here. Two PhD positions will be open soon (1 at the NKI, 1 at Amsterdam UMC - CCA)!


Welcome to Yvette who joined us for a master internship. Yvette will work on the reciprocal regulation between a protein-coding and a tRNA gene under the supervision of Boris. 


Boris wins the best poster award of OddPols 2023, the International Conference on Transcription Mechanism and Regulation by archaeal RNA Polymerases and eukaryotic RNA Polymerases I, III, IV, and V that took place in Jaen (Spain). 

Congrats to Boris!


Trisha wins 2nd best poster prize at the VU Biomedical Sciences bachelor poster day! Congrats to Trisha (and her daily supervisor Boris!)


Chantal strikes again! Congrats to Cristina (Exosome Research Group) and Chantal on the publication of the NORMSEQ manuscript in NAR! NORMSEQ, a tool for evaluation, selection and visualization of RNA-Seq normalization methods, is available here.


Our review, written in collaboration with Evelina Tutucci, Sander van Otterdijk and Frank Bruggeman (VU Amsterdam, Systems Biology lab), on Understanding spatiotemporal coupling of gene expression using single molecule RNA imaging technologies is online