Research Theme 1

Development of novel technologies.


Discoveries in cancer biology are very much driven by the continuous development of novel technologies. These have enabled cancer biologists to study tumour evolution, including complex crosstalk between various tumour cell subclones and the connective tissue cells, with ever greater resolution. They also allow closer examination of the mechanisms underlying therapy response and resistance.

Theme aims

  1. Exploring single-cell technologies – Several Oncode Investigators are developing single-cell technologies, which will be used to address questions regarding intra-tumour heterogeneity, single-cell proteomics and single-cell metabolomics.
  2. Generating new organoids – we will expand our biobank of long-term organoid cultures to provide an organoid encyclopedia of all major cancer types. We will draw on this biobank to address therapy selection, cancer gene validation and drug resistance.
  3. Mouse model testing – We will use several in vivo platforms for accelerated validation of candidate cancer genes. Genetically Engineered Mouse Models (GEMMs) allow us to test comprehensive sets of candidate cancer drivers, trace the cellular origin of cancer, identify mechanisms of in vivo drug resistance, and determine the effects of genetic background on cancer initiation and progression.
  4. Computing the biology of cancer – using large scale data sets we aim to identify important players in oncogenesis and therapy resistance. In addition we will look for biomarkers that predict drug response and use new computational methods to model pathways in a semi-mechanistic fashion. This will allow us to develop novel approaches that take time and population diversity into account.

Please find a more detailed description in our Strategic Plan.

Theme leader

Joost Gribnau


Michiel Vermeulen Oncode Investigator

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