Geert Kops Group

Geert Kops

Oncode Investigator at Hubrecht Institute

My Research

Geert Kops obtained his PhD cum laude in 2001 from Utrecht University for his investigations into the oncogenic PI3K-PKB/Akt–FOXO pathway and its role in cellular proliferation. He then pursued postdoctoral studies in the lab of Don Cleveland at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in La Jolla, USA, where he investigated molecular mechanisms of chromosome segregation. Geert returned to the Netherlands in 2005 as a group leader at UMC Utrecht, where he became Professor of Molecular Tumor Cell Biology in 2011. He was the head of the laboratory for Medical Oncology from 2011 to 2014.

After a research sabbatical at the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center in Seattle, USA, Geert joined the Hubrecht Institute in October 2015. His primary research interests include molecular mechanisms of chromosome segregation, evolution of cell division processes and the causes and consequences of chromosomal instability in cancer. Geert is the recipient of the KNCV gold medal 2014, the NVBMB prize 2004, and the Von Freyburg medal in 2006, and was elected to the Young Academy of Europe (YAE) in 2013. He was awarded a a NWO-Vici grant in 2013, an ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council in 2009, and a NWO Vidi grant in 2006. Geert serves on the scientific council of the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF Kankerbestrijding) and has co-developed ‘De Gemene Deler’, a teaching module for high schools about molecular mechanisms, cells and cancer.


  • 2016: PhD supervisor of the year (runner-up), Utrecht Life Sciences
  • 2014: Gold Medal of the Royal Dutch Chemistry Society (KNCV)
  • 2013: NWO (Netherlands organisation for scientific research) VICI award (1.5 M€) for consolidation of a research group
  • 2013: Best Masters course of the Utrecht Graduate School of Life Sciences
  • 2013: Elected to the Young Academy of Europe (YAE)
  • 2009: ERC StG/CoG (prior to separation into StG and CoG)
  • 2006: NWO (Netherlands organisation for scientific research) VIDI award (0.6 M€) for establishing a research group
  • 2006: Von Freyburg Medal (Catharijne Foundation)
  • 2004: NVBMB prize (Netherlands Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
  • 2001: KWF (Dutch Cancer Society) preclinical- and fundamental research fellowship
  • 2000: Young talent award, UMC Utrecht

Key Publications

  1. Hiruma, Y., Sacristan, C., Pachis, S. T., Adamopoulos, A., Kuijt, T., Ubbink, M., ... & Kops, G. J. (2015). Competition between MPS1 and microtubules at kinetochores regulates spindle checkpoint signaling. Science, 348(6240), 1264-1267.
  2. Janssen, A., van der Burg, M., Szuhai, K., Kops, G. J., & Medema, R. H. (2011). Chromosome segregation errors as a cause of DNA damage and structural chromosome aberrations. Science, 333(6051), 1895-1898.
  3. Jelluma, N., Brenkman, A. B., van den Broek, N. J., Cruijsen, C. W., van Osch, M. H., Lens, S. M., ... & Kops, G. J. (2008). Mps1 phosphorylates Borealin to control Aurora B activity and chromosome alignment. Cell, 132(2), 233-246.
  4. Vleugel, M., Omerzu, M., Groenewold, V., Hadders, M. A., Lens, S. M., & Kops, G. J. (2015). Sequential multisite phospho-regulation of KNL1-BUB3 interfaces at mitotic kinetochores. Molecular cell, 57(5), 824-835.
  5. Yost, S., De Wolf, B., Hanks, S., Zachariou, A., Marcozzi, C., Clarke, M., ... & Wylie, H. (2017). Biallelic TRIP13 mutations predispose to Wilms tumor and chromosome missegregation. Nature genetics, 49(7), 1148.
Contact Information
Geert Kops Oncode Investigator

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