The Kuijjer Group
Dr. Kuijjer's group at NCMM focuses on developing computational frameworks that place genomic data into the context of gene regulatory networks. The group then uses these computational frameworks to explore how these networks influence cancer.
We integrate cancer `omics data into biological networks using computational tools, and then perform comparative analyses to investigate how disruptions in these networks may drive cancer. Illustration: Marieke Kuijjer.
Overall research aims
Our driving hypothesis is that the complex clinical phenotypes we observe in cancer cannot be adequately defined by individual genes. Instead, we must consider the underlying network of regulatory interactions between multiple different biological components.
Our research goals emphasize the importance of correctly modelling alterations in gene regulatory networks, relating those changes to cellular function, and ultimately, identifying the underlying biological mechanisms that drive cancer development, progression, and clinical phenotypes.
For example, through identifying specific network alterations, we can better identify why some patients undergoing cancer treatment relapse and others don’t. Through our research we also hope to better understand the general mechanisms of how gene and protein expressions are regulated, and to also be able to integrate more data types into the methods that we are developing.
Key research focus areas
- Integration of multiple sources of `omics data using networks.
- Understanding cancer data using pathways and network modules
- Enabling precision medicine through single-sample network modelling