Jarno Drost Group

Molecular dissection of childhood solid tumors

Our Focus

In the Western world, cancer is still the main cause of disease-related death among children. Many childhood solid tumors already originate in the developing fetus. They arise as a result of a block in processes driving lineage specification and differentiation during embryonic development. In most cases, the cells from which the tumors originate are only present during short, specific time windows. As a consequence, it is challenging to identify the processes initiating and driving the tumor. The Drost group studies different childhood solid tumors, incuding renal tumors, rhabdoid tumors, and soft tissue sarcomas, and aims to understand their molecular and cellular identity.

For our research, we use primary patient material and stem cell culture models, such as patient-derived cancer organoids, in combination with (single-cell) sequencing and gene editing technologies. We are particularly interested in the (epi)genetic mechanisms driving tumorigenesis. For instance, rhabdoid tumors are genetically “cold” tumors with only one recurrent driver mutation. Still, it is one of the most aggressive childhood cancers, which is most likely caused by epigenetic dysregulation. By understanding how these tumors develop during embryonic development and by performing high-throughput compound screens on patient-derived tumor organoids, we aim to find therapeutic opportunities to treat children with these currently untreatable tumors.


Arianna Fumagalli Post Doc
Charlotte Op ‘t Hoog Phd Student
Giulia Perticari Phd Student
Irene Paassen Phd Student
Juliane Buhl Post Doc
Jeff Demartino Phd Student
Jiayou He Phd Student
Jolanda Kooiman Research Technician
Marian Groot Koerkamp Research Technician
Marjolein Kes Phd Student
Mariel Brok Research Technician
M.P. Ganpat Maroussia Phd Student
Michael Meister Phd Student
Nhung Pham Post Doc
Sofia Doulkeridou Research Technician
Terezinha de Souza Post Doc (bioinformatician)
Yvonne Tiersma Research Technician
Contact Information
Jarno Drost Oncode Investigator

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