Cisca Wijmenga - WP 1

Lodewijk Sandkuijl Professor of Human Genetics at UMCG, Spinoza prize winner.

The research of Cisca Wijmenga is aimed at unraveling the causal genetic factors of certain hereditary diseases. How does variation in hereditary material lead to disease and how can we use such knowledge to prevent or treat diseases? She was one of the first to take up the challenge to search for the genetic factors determining more complex disorders. Her group adopted a hypothesis-generating, genome-wide approach, and was able to make great progress on elucidating the genetic factors for celiac disease, intracranial aneurysms, type 2 diabetes and celiac disease. Het group is now working on systems genetics approaches towards understanding complex diseases.

Wijmenga is a member of the the Celiac Disease Consortium (CDC) and active in two EU projects the COPACTIC study (on COPD) and PreventCD (on celiac disease). She leads the Genome of the Netherlands project (GoNL). In 2017 Wijmenga became Co-PI on the Netherlands Organ-on-a-Chip Initiative (NOCI). She has been Co-director of BBMRI-NL2.0 since 2015 and a Project Leader for Nutrition and Health, in the Top Institute for Food and Nutrition (TIFIN).  She published over 700 papers and supervised 44 PhD candidates of whom 8 graduated cum laude.

Gerrit Meijer - WP 1

Head of the Department of Pathology & Group leader at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Professor of Oncologic Pathology at UMC Utrecht

Gerrit Meijer is professor of pathology with a special interest in gastrointestinal oncology and translational research. After finishing medical school at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam he completed his PhD on “Cancer Risk Assessment in Adenoma Bearing Patients”. He had his training in pathology at the VU University Medical Center (VUmc) where he continued to work as a pathologist and from 2009 as Chair of the Department of Pathology. Since March 2015 he is Head of the Department of Pathology and Group leader at the Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek.

Professor Meijer leads a translational research group that focuses on gastrointestinal cancer, especially biomarker development for early detection of colorectal cancer, as well as on definition of molecular intermediate endpoints for screening. This work is a.o. funded by a Stand Up To Cancer & Dutch Cancer Society “Dream Team” grant for early detection of colorectal cancer. Next to that he is involved in the development of (inter-)national research infrastructures for biobanking and research IT, including Health-RI, BBMRI-NL, EATRIS, tranSMART foundation as well as AACR GENIE.

Gerrit Meijer has been and still is closely involved in the development, implementation and execution of the Dutch national colorectal cancer screening program, serving on several program committees.

Gerrit Meijer is Scientific Leader of BBMRI-NL and part of the daily board that is responsible for short- and long-term management.

Tieneke Schaaij-Visser, PhD - WP 1

Program Manager (Lygature)

Tieneke is a medical biologist with a master’s in Oncology and a PhD in Onco-proteomics. She has working experience in research policy making, research partnerships management and stakeholder and societal involvement in research.

Tieneke is responsible for the day-to-day management of BBMRI, together with both PI’s Gerrit Meijer and Nine Knoers (who replaces Cisca Wijmenga). Tieneke is also secretary of the Patient and Public Advisory Council of BBMRI-NL.

Nine Knoers - WP 1

Clinical geneticist and currently chair of the Department of Genetics at University Medical Centre Groningen, The Netherlands

Nine Knoers received her M.D. (1986) and Ph.D. (cum laude, 1990) from the Catholic University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She was trained and certified as Clinical Geneticist at the Radboud University Medical Centre Nijmegen. From 2011 until 2018, she was chair of the Department of Genetics at the University Medical Centre Utrecht. She was chair of the Dutch Society of Clinical Genetics (2007-2015) and Member of the Dutch Health Council (2008-2018). In 2017, she became Honorary member of the Dutch Society of Clinical Genetics, as recognition of a major contribution to Clinical Genetics and to professionalization of the Society. Her major research effort focuses on the identification of genes for inherited renal disorders and on their pathophysiology. The ultimate aim of her studies is to find clues for treatments for these disorders. Over the past years, her team has substantially contributed to the elucidation of genes involved in hereditary kidney diseases.  

Nine Knoers currently substitutes Cisca Wijmenga as Scientific Leader of BBMRI-NL and is part of the daily board that is responsible for short- and long-term management.