Linda van den Berk
Guest PhD candidate
I started the Bachelor Biology and Medical Laboratory Research at the University of Applied Sciences in Rotterdam in 2011. During my Bachelor, I performed two internships under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Hans van Leeuwen on finding potential therapies for bone metastases and the crosstalk between osteoblasts and bone metastatic prostate tumor cells respectively. Following my Bachelor, I started the Master Biomedical Sciences at Maastricht University in 2015. Here I got the opportunity to perform a 6-month internship in the lab of Prof. Dr. Steven Olde Damink developing a visceral smooth muscle cell culture to study phenotypic modification in health and disease, in particular pancreatic cancer (Vaes et al. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 2018). Thereafter, I worked for 9-months on Notch and Wnt signalling during normal lung development and repair after radiotherapy by 1) developing Notch and Wnt reporter primary cell lines and 2 ) investigating the effect of Notch inhibition on basal stem cell toxicity and DNA repair efficiency after radiotherapy in the lab of Prof. Dr. Marc Vooijs. After obtaining my Master’s degree, I started my PhD at the division of Drug Discovery and Safety at the LACDR in the lab of Prof. Dr. van de Water. I am currently working on establishing human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) CRISPR-Cas9-based fluorescent reporter cell lines for NF-kB signalling. We will use this to enable studying the dynamic activation and downstream signalling of Toll-like receptor and cytokine signalling in iPSC-derived differentiated cells in a systems microscopy-based approach and apply this for drug target and drug lead discovery in pathogen-mediated inflammatory response signalling.
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