The research of Ruben van Boxtel has concentrated on studying genome stability in human health and disease using genomics. After obtaining his PhD, he joined the lab of Paul Coffer (UMC Utrecht) where he identified a transcriptional feedback mechanism of PI3K-AKT-FOXO signalling, which promotes survival of cancer cells upon anti-cancer treatment. In 2013, Ruben was asked to supervise a collaborative project between the groups of Edwin Cuppen and Hans Clevers (Hubrecht Institute) to determine genome stability of adult stem cells in organoid cultures. For this, he applied genome-wide sequencing technologies to the organoid culture system. He could demonstrate that organoid cultures maintain remarkably high levels of genomic integrity. In 2015, he worked as a visiting scientist in the group of Michael Stratton (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute), where he applied mutational signature analyses in tissue-specific stem cells.
Since September 2017, Ruben leads a research group in the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, which focusses on studying why children get cancer and what the genotoxic effects of treatment are in normal tissues. He has obtained several prestigious grants and awards for cancer and stem cell research from various organizations, such as Worldwide Cancer Research (UK), the Dutch Cancer Society, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), including the NWO Vidi grant. In 2019, Ruben was selected as an Oncode Investigator. In the same year, he was awarded an ERC Consolidator grant from the European Research Counsil.
- 2019: ERC Consolidator grant
- 2019: Selected Oncode member
- 2017: NWO VIDI Award
- Pleguezuelos-Manzano C*, Puschhof J*, Rosendahl Huber A*, van Hoeck A, Wood HM, Nomburg J, Gurjao C, Manders F, Dalmasso G, Stege PB, Paganelli FL, Geurts MH, Beumer J, Mizutani T, van der Linden R, van Elst S; Genomics England Research Consortium, Top J, Willems RJL, Giannakis M, Bonnet R, Quirke P, Meyerson M, Cuppen E, van Boxtel R#,Clevers H#. Mutational signature in colorectal cancer caused by genotoxic pks+ E. coli. (2020) Nature doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2080-8. *co-first authors; #co-corresponding authors
- Osorio FG*, Rosendahl Huber A*, Oka R, Verheul M, Patel SH, Hasaart K, de la Fonteijne L, Varela I, Camargo F#, van Boxtel R#. Somatic mutations reveal lineage relationships and age-related mutagenesis in human hematopoiesis. (2018) Cell Reports25:2308-2316.e4. *co-first authors; #co-corresponding authors
- Drost J*, van Boxtel R*, Blokzijl F, Mizutani T, Sasaki N, Sasselli V, de Ligt J, Behjati S, Grolleman JE, van Wezel T, Nik-Zainal S, Kuiper RP, Cuppen E, Clevers H. Use of CRISPR-modified human stem cell organoids to study the origin of mutational signatures in cancer. (2017) Science358:234-238. *co-first authors
- Blokzijl F, de Ligt J, Jager M, Sasselli V, Roerink S, Sasaki N, Huch M, Boymans S, Kuijk E, Prins P, Nijman IJ, Martincorena I, Mokry M, Wiegerinck CL, Middendorp S, Sato T, Schwank G, Nieuwenhuis EE, Verstegen MM, van der Laan LJ, de Jonge J, IJzermans JN, Vries RG, van de Wetering M, Stratton MR, Clevers H, Cuppen E, van Boxtel R. Tissue-specific mutation accumulation in human adult stem cells during life. (2016) Nature 538:260-264.
- Huch M*, Gehart H*, van Boxtel R*, Hamer K, Blokzijl F, Verstegen MM, Ellis E, van Wenum M, Fuchs SA, de Ligt J, van de Wetering M, Sasaki N, Boers SJ, Kemperman H, de Jonge J, Ijzermans JN, Nieuwenhuis EE, Hoekstra R, Strom S, Vries RR, van der Laan LJ, Cuppen E, Clevers H. Long-term culture of genome-stable bipotent stem cells from adult human liver. (2015) Cell160:299-312. *co-first authors