Excellent science

Oncode Institute stimulates excellent science through its base funds and supporting programmes. Over the past five years we have seen many great examples of the results our community has obtained. Next to impactful publications in leading scientific journals, many Oncode Investigators were selected as recipients of prestigious awards and grants. On this page we share some of the highlights.

03 - 10 - 2019

The 'one-two punch' method

Some combinations of cancer medicines could theoretically work well together, but in practice these combinations are often too toxic for the body to withstand. The labs from Oncode Investigators René Bernards and Leila Akkari (NKI) devised a possible alternative: the 'one-two punch', named after the effective combination of two quick successive punches in boxing.

19 - 06 - 2020

Two Oncode Investigators awarded the highest distinction in Dutch Science

Oncode Investigator Sjaak Neefjes received the Spinoza Prize and Oncode Investigator Ton Schumacher received the Stevin Prize. Both were praised for their outstanding, pioneering, and inspiring work.

04 - 03 - 2020

Scrutinizing the molecular details of DNA repair

Metabolites of alcohol can cause DNA damage and therefore are a risk factor to develop cancer. Puck Knipscheer’s group published a Nature paper, in which they revealed the molecular pathways involved in the repair of alcohol-derived DNA damage. This line of research will be further pursued by her and her team in the context of an ERC Consolidator Grant Knipscheer received in 2020.

17 - 11 - 2020

Shedding light on viral infections

The lab of Oncode Investigator Marvin Tanenbaum, in collaboration with Frank van Kuppeveld’s group (University Utrecht), developed something special. Based on SunTag technology, they found a way to visualize viral infections by plus strand RNA viruses on a single molecule resolution. The technology termed ‘virus infection real-time imaging (VIRIM)’ allows studying the first few hours after a virus infects a cell. The tools developed in this study will be of great value to identify vulnerabilities in RNA+ viruses, such as zika, hepatitis-C and dengue, and can also help to develop therapeutic viruses against cancer.

3 Ammodo Science Awards, 8 Oncode investigators

For 3 years in a row, the yearly Ammodo Science Award went to at least one Oncode Investigator. A total of eight Oncode Investigators were given the honour of receiving it; Jurgen Marteijn, Wim Vermeulen, Roland Kanaar, Jan Hoeijmakers and Miao-Ping Chien (2020), Louis Vermeulen (2021), and Ruben van Boxtel and Hans Clevers (2022).

26 - 01 - 2021

International recognition for Ton Schumacher

In 2021 Ton Schumacher was one of the recipients of the prestigious Jeantet-Collen Prize for Translational Medicine. This award came in recognition of his work developing technologies to study the role of the immune system in cancer progression, and for the improvement of cancer diagnosis and treatment. We are proud to have a frontrunner in this field in our midst.

10 - 06 - 2021

ELOF1 – the newly discovered core factor in the TC-NER pathway

Until last year, we only knew three core factors that could recognize DNA damage-at stalled RNA polymerases: CSA, CSB and UVSSA. Using CRISPR/Cas9 technology Oncode Investigator Jurgen Marteijn’s new research (Erasmus MC) has identified a fourth core factor, called ELOF1. Their findings give insight into how the important repair machinery works and protects against genome instability. This helps us to better understand the origins of cancer.

01 - 07 - 2021

Unraveling the genetic evolution of individual tumor cells

The research group of Hugo Snippert (UMC Utrecht) reported the first detailed insights into the pace and patterns by which genetic alterations are generated by tumors. The results appeared in the leading journal Nature Genetics and shed new light on the origin of colon tumors.

09 - 03 - 2022

New finding, new terminology: substitutant

Tumor cells produce proteins with tiny changes, even without prior changes in their DNA code: a phenomenon that has never been shown before and that is specifically seen in tumors. This was discovered by Oncode Investigator Reuven Agami’s research group at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. They had to come up with a new word for these new, strange proteins. They named them substitutants: a hybrid of the words substitution and mutant.

26 - 07 - 2022

Mode-of-action of T-cell immunotherapies in focus

A new 3D imaging and analysis technique, developed in Oncode Investigator Anne Rios’ lab (Princess Máxima Center), brings the working mode of T-cell immunotherapies into live view. T-cell immunotherapy is already leading to promising results in children with leukemia.

Great science rewarded with great grants

Many Oncode Investigators have received honorable grants in recent years. A few examples? Jacco van Rheenen (Netherlands Cancer Institute) and Louis Vermeulen (Amsterdam UMC) received the Vici grant in 2022 and Michiel Vermeulen (Radboud University) and Lude Franke (UMCG) in 2021. ERC advanced grants went to Alexander van Oudenaarden, Bas van Steensel and Daniel Peeper in 2022 and to Reuven Agami and Carl Figdor in 2019. ERC consolidator grants went to Louis vermeulen and Marvin Tanenbaum in 2022, Puck Knipscheer and Jop Kind in 2020 and Elzo de Wit and Ruben van Boxtel in 2019.


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