Imke Bruns is a PhD candiate at the Division of Drug Discovery and Safety (DDS) under the supervision of Bob van de Water and Giulia Callegaro. I obtained both my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences with a specialization in bioinformatics from Leiden University. During my Master's program, I persued two internships that shaped my research interests. During my first internship at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) I developed a model to quantify the contribution of transcription factor activity, mutations and miRNAs to PD-L1 expression in cancer patients using data from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). I performed my second internship at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), where I explored the association between the polygenic risk score and gene expression in healthy breast tissue using gene expression and blood genotype data from the GTEx database. Here, we found that germline variants that increase breast cancer risk may lead to early dysfunctions in healthy breast tissue. Currently, I am working on analyzing whole transcriptome data from patient-derived liver and kidney biopsy samples to establish co-regulated gene networks in the human in vivo setting. These gene networks will be associated with disease state and used as a human reference of chemical-induced toxicities under the assumption that chemical-induced pathogenesis can be captured by disease-based cohorts. Eventually, the preservation of these established co-regulated gene networks in humans will be tested for animals and in vitro models, providing insights in the human relevance of models used in preclinical safety assessment.
- PARC (Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals)
No relevant ancillary activities