Research focus

My translation research focusses on integrative omics (mapping interactions between the different omics levels in tumors, e.g. DNA, RNA and epi-genetics) to identify driver genetic alterations, genes and biological pathways that are relevant for the pathophysiological behaviour and treatment response of tumors. My theoretical background in Cognitive Science and Engineering (Artificial Intelligence) enables me to develop algorithms, pipe-lines and dedicated software for the analysis of ‘big-data’. Although my focus is on bioinformatics, I have strong collaborations with molecular biologist at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) to translate relevant findings and hypotheses to functional experiments in the lab.

As a medical oncologist, I aim for translation of my findings to clinical impact by setting up (pre-)clinical studies. Providing physicians with tools to make better decisions on the optimal treatment strategy for an individual patient diagnosed with cancer will be a major goal. My research takes place in a team of bio-informaticians, statisticians, molecular biologists and clinicians to maximize the input for my research and the impact of my research.

Figure below is taken from Bhattacharya A, Bense RD, Urzúa-Traslaviña CG, de Vries EGE, van Vugt MATM, Fehrmann RSN*. Transcriptional effects of copy number alterations in a large set of human cancers. Nat Commun 2020; 11:715.