Wouter de Laat performed his PhD (1998) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (Prof. Jan Hoeijmakers) where he investigated the molecular mechanism of nucleotide excision repair. He identified one of the nucleases and characterized the interplay between repair factors at the site of the lesion. As a postdoc, he joined the group of Prof. Frank Grosveld to work on beta-globin gene activation. In 2000 he received a career grant (VIDI) to work on long-range gene activation. His group used 3C technology, and later developed 4C technology, to demonstrate chromatin loops between genes and enhancers and to uncover the principles and functional importance of long-range DNA contacts within and between chromosomes.
In September 2008 de Laat moved his group to the Hubrecht Institute, where he continued his work on genome structure and function and further pioneered the development and application of 3C-based technologies in DNA diagnostics. In January 2009 he was appointed professor in Biomedical Genomics at the University Medical Center Utrecht. Wouter de Laat is founder of Cergentis, a biotech company that provides services and kits for complete gene sequencing based on its proprietary Targeted Locus Amplification (TLA) Technology.
- 2012: VICI career grant
- 2009: Elected EMBO member
- 2008: ERC Starting Grant
- 2000: VIDI career grant
- De Vree, P. J., De Wit, E., Yilmaz, M., Van De Heijning, M., Klous, P., Verstegen, M. J., ... & Eijk, P. P. (2014). Targeted sequencing by proximity ligation for comprehensive variant detection and local haplotyping. Nature biotechnology, 32(10), 1019.
- de Wit, E., Bouwman, B. A., Zhu, Y., Klous, P., Splinter, E., Verstegen, M. J., ... & Heard, E. (2013). The pluripotent genome in three dimensions is shaped around pluripotency factors. Nature, 501(7466), 227.
- Krijger, P. H. L., & De Laat, W. (2016). Regulation of disease-associated gene expression in the 3D genome. Nature reviews molecular cell biology, 17(12), 771.
- Simonis, M., Klous, P., Homminga, I., Galjaard, R. J., Rijkers, E. J., Grosveld, F., ... & De Laat, W. (2009). High-resolution identification of balanced and complex chromosomal rearrangements by 4C technology. Nature methods, 6(11), 837.
- Vermeulen, C., Geeven, G., de Wit, E., Verstegen, M. J., Jansen, R. P., van Kranenburg, M., ... & Omrani, D. (2017). Sensitive Monogenic Noninvasive Prenatal Diagnosis by Targeted Haplotyping. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 101(3), 326-339.