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Meijerink Group

Jules Meijerink

Jules Meijerink was trained in Medical and Biochemical Biology at the University of Nijmegen, and obtained his PhD at this university in 1997 for his study towards “The role of the BCL2 gene family in malignant hematopoiesis and their use for monitoring of disease”(Promotor Prof. T. de Witte, Department of Hematology, University Hospital Nijmegen). In 1995 he obtained a KWF fellowship, and was trained as visiting scientist in the laboratory of Stanley J. Korsmeyer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Washington University School of Medicine in Saint-Louis (MO, USA). He continued his work towards “the role of BCL2 family members in malignant hematopoiesis and chemotherapy-resistance in low-grade lymphomas and myelodysplastic syndromes” as assistant professor in the department of Hematology of the University Hospital in Nijmegen. In 2000, he started as assistant professor under supervision of Professor Rob Pieters in the Department of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology of the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam – Sophia Children’s Hospital. In 2001, he initiated his research group that studied pathogenetic mechanisms of pediatric T-cell malignancies and therapy resistance mechanisms. In 2007, he became Associate Professor in molecular pediatric Oncology/Hematology. He is founding member of the European-American T-ALL consortium in collaboration with Prof. Jean Soulier (Paris, France), Dr. Adolfo Ferrando (New-York, USA) and Prof. Jan Cools (Leuven, Belgium). This consortium aims to promote scientific collaboration between research groups working in the fields of T-cell malignancies and normal T-cell development. Through this consortium, three ESH/EHA-sponsored international scientific workshops on T-cell leukemia and normal T-cell development have been organized in 2010 (Mandelieu, France), 2013 (Lisbon, Portugal) and 2017 (Leuven, Belgium). Since September 2016, Jules Meijerink is working as principal investigator in The Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in Utrecht, where he will continue his groundbreaking work on T-cell malignancies and therapy resistance mechanisms in children.

Research Focus

The research program of the Meijerink group is focused on the identification of chromosomal markers/mutations in T-cell malignancies in children by using high-resolution screening techniques such as next-generation-sequencing sequencing. It also aims to investigate the prognostic relevance of such genetic lesions towards therapy resistance and relapse. It also investigates conservation of equivalent pathogenic disease mechanisms in children with other types of malignancies. By improved understanding of leukemogenic pathways, we aim to identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention by targeted, high-precision medicines. The clinical usefulness and their application of such targeted compounds is investigated on genetically modified cell line-based and patient-derived leukemia (xenograft) models that have been developed.

Key Publications

  • Lahortiga, I., Keersmaecker, De K., Vlierberghe, Van P., Graux, C., Cauwelier, B., Lambert, F., Mentens,N., Beverloo, H.B., Pieters, R., Speleman, F., Odero, M.D., Bauters, M., Froyen, G., Marynen, P., Vandenberghe, P., Wlodarska, I., *Meijerink, J.P.P., *Cools, J. Duplication of the MYB oncogene in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Nature Genet, 2007, 39:593-5. IF 36.38 (*co-last authors)
  • Van Vlierberghe, P., Palomero, T., Khiabanian, H., Van der Meulen, J., Castillo, M., Van Roy, N., De Moerloose, B., Philippé, J., González-García, S., Toribio, ML., Taghon, T., Zuurbier, L., Cauwelier, B., Harrison, CJ., Schwab, C., Pisecker, M., Strehl, S., Langerak, AW., Gecz, J., Sonneveld, E., Pieters, R., Paietta, E., Rowe, JM., Wiernik, PH., Benoit, Y., Soulier, J., Poppe, B., Yao, X., Cordon-Cardo, C., Meijerink, J.P.P., Rabadan, R., Speleman, F., Ferrando, A. PHF6 mutations in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Nature Genet, 2010, 42:338-42. IF 36.38
  • Homminga, I., Pieters, R., Langerak, A., de Rooi, J.J., Stubbs, A., Buijs-Gladdines, J., Kooi, C., Klous, P., Van Vlierberghe, P., Ferrando, A.A., Cayuela, J.M., Blanchet, O., Verhaaf, B., Beverloo, B., Horstmann, M., De Haas, V., De Laat, W., Soulier, J., Sigaux, F., Meijerink, J.P.P. NKX2-1 and MEF2C define novel oncogenic pathways in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Cancer Cell, 2011, 19:484-97
  • Mendes, R.D., Sarmento, L.M., Canté-Barrett, K., Zuurbier, L., Buijs-Gladdines J.G.C.A.M., Póvoa, V., Smits, W.K., Abecasis, M., J. Yunes, A., Sonneveld, E., Horstmann, M.A., Pieters, R., Barata, J.T. and Meijerink, J.P.P. PTEN micro-deletions inT-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia are caused by illegitimate RAG-mediated recombination events. Blood. 2014, Jul 24;124(4):567-78.
  • Canté-Barrett, K., Spijkers-Hagelstein, J., Buijs-Gladdines, J., Uitdehaag, J., Smits, W., Van der Zwet, J., Buijsman, R., Zaman, G., Pieters, R., Meijerink, J.P.P. MEK and PI3KAKT inhibitors synergistically block activated IL7-receptor signaling in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia 2016.
  • Li, Y., Buijs-Gladdines, J.G.C.A.M., Canté-Barrett, K., Stubbs, A.P., Vroegindeweij, E.M., Smits, W.K., Van Marion, R., Dinjens, W.N.M., Horstmann, M., Kuiper, R.P., Buijsman, R.C., Zaman, G.J.R., Van der Spek, P.J., Pieters, R., Meijerink, J.P.P. Next Generation Sequencing of T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Reveals IL7R Signaling Mutations as Drivers of Steroid Resistance. 2016, Plos Medicine. 2016, Accepted for publication

Group members

  • Jules Meijerink (PI)
  • Kirsten Cante-Barrett (post-doc)
  • Eric Vroegindeweij (post-doc)
  • Jordy van der Zwet (PhD-student)
  • Jessica Buijs-Gladdines (senior technician)
  • Wilco Smits (senior technician)
  • Yvette van Helsdingen (mouse technician)

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