Tineke Lenstra Group

Tineke Lenstra

Oncode Investigator at NKI

My Research

Tineke Lenstra received her Bachelor's' and Master's' degree in biomedical sciences from Utrecht University (cum laude). In 2008, she joined the laboratory of Frank Holstege at University Medical Centre Utrecht, where she used genome-wide expression analysis to study transcription regulatory complexes. She was awarded a cum laude PhD in 2012. As a postdoc in laboratory of Dan Larson at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, USA, she used cutting-edge single-molecule techniques to study transcription dynamics in single cells. In 2016, she established an independent group at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) in Amsterdam, where her lab applies and further develops single-molecule imaging techniques in living cells to understand the regulatory mechanisms and dynamics of stochastic transcription in eukaryotic cells.

For her work, Tineke has received a number of awards, including the NVBMB prize, the Fellows Award for Research Excellence, the NCI Director's Innovation Award and the “Cancer Genomics and Developmental Biology” PhD Student Award. Her research was supported by the ERC starting grant, CancerGenomics.nl, EMBO long-term fellowships, KWF fellowship for basic research, the NWO Toptalent Program and Huygens Scholarship Talent Program.


  • 2018: NVBMB prize (Netherlands Organization for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)
  • 2017: ERC starting grant:
  • 2017: CancerGenomiCs.nl gravitation project
  • 2015: NCI Director's Innovation Award
  • 2015: Fellows Award for Research Excellence
  • 2012: KWF (Dutch Cancer Society) fellowship for basic research
  • 2012: European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) long-term fellowship
  • 2011: “Cancer Genomics and Developmental Biology” PhD Student Award, Utrecht University
  • 2008: NWO Toptalent Program
  • 2007: Huygens Scholarship Program

Key publications

  1. Donovan BT, Huynh A, Ball DA, Patel HP, Poirier MG, Larson DR, Ferguson ML*, Lenstra TL*. Live-cell imaging reveals the interplay between transcription factors, nucleosomes, and bursting. EMBO Journal. 2019 Jun 17;38(12). PMID: 31101674 *These authors contributed equally
  2. Brouwer I, Lenstra TL. Visualizing transcription: key to understanding gene expression dynamics. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology. 2019 Aug;51:122-129. PMID: 31284216
  3. Lenstra TL, Coulon A, Chow CC, Larson DR. Single-molecule imaging reveals a switch between spurious and functional ncRNA transcription. Molecular Cell. 2015 Nov 19;60(4):597-610. PMID: 26549684.
  4. Lenstra TL, Larson DR. Single molecule mRNA detection in live yeast. Current Protocols in Molecular Biology. 2016 113:14.24.1-14.24.15. PMID: 27110320.
  5. Kemmeren P*, Sameith K*, van de Pasch LA*, Benschop JJ*, Lenstra TL*, Margaritis T*, O'Duibhir E, Apweiler E, van Wageningen S, Ko CW, van Heesch S, Kashani MM, Ampatziadis-Michailidis G, Brok MO, Brabers NA, Miles AJ, Bouwmeester D, van Hooff SR, van Bakel H, Sluiters E, Bakker LV, Snel B, Lijnzaad P, van Leenen D, Groot Koerkamp MJ, Holstege FCP. Large-scale genetic perturbations reveal regulatory networks and an abundance of gene-specific repressors. Cell. 2014 Apr 24;157(3):740-52. PMID: 24766815. *These authors contributed equally
  6. Lenstra TL, Benschop JJ, Kim T, Schulze JM, Brabers NA, Margaritis T, van de Pasch LA, van Heesch SA, Brok MO, Groot Koerkamp MJ, Ko CW, van Leenen D, Sameith K, van Hooff SR, Lijnzaad P, Kemmeren P, Hentrich T, Kobor MS, Buratowski S, Holstege FCP. The specificity and topology of chromatin interaction pathways in yeast. Molecular Cell. 2011 May 20;42(4):536-49. PMID: 21596317.
Contact Information
Tineke Lenstra Oncode Investigator

More Research

Research Strategy
Focus and Approach
Over 800 scientists working under a single strategy. Oncode is all about uniting efforts and bringing focus to research.
Support Programme
Our supporting programmes
New plans that help fulfil Oncode's objectives get our full support. Young talents are matched with mentors on the basis of their personal endeavours.
Research Groups
Our Groups
We firmly believe in sharing knowledge. From experienced veterans to talented young researchers, we work together in 61 groups.