Universiteit Leiden

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Thomas Hankemeier

Professor of Analytical biosciences

Name
Prof.dr. T. Hankemeier
Telephone
+31 71 527 4226
E-mail
hankemeier@lacdr.leidenuniv.nl
ORCID iD
0000-0001-7871-2073

Thomas Hankemeier is full professor of Analytical BioSciences at the LACDR, Leiden University, since 2004. He leads as principal investigator the Analytical BioSciences and Metabolomics group, and he is the chair of the new Division of Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology. His research is aiming at innovative analytical tools for metabolomics-driven systems biology in personalized health strategies.

More information about Thomas Hankemeier

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Thomas Hankemeier is full professor of Analytical BioSciences at the LACDR, Leiden University, since 2004. He leads as principal investigator the Analytical BioSciences and Metabolomics group, and he is the chair of the new Division of Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology.  His research is aiming at innovative analytical tools for metabolomics-driven systems biology in personalized health strategies.

In recent years he developed tools to detect, quantify and identify as many as possible metabolites in mammalian biofluids, tissues and cells. His research aims at improving sample preparation and multi-dimensional chromatographic and electro-driven separation methods, improving the interfacing to mass spectrometry, miniaturizing analytical methods using micro/nano-technology and developing methods for the identification of metabolites. He has developed several innovative technologies for miniaturized and high throughput metabolomics, for which he also holds a few patents.

In collaboration with clinicians, biomedical researchers, biostatisticians and other –omics researchers he works on better (early) diagnosis and interventions for (cardio)vascular and metabolic diseases and neurological diseases.

He is initiator and Scientific Director of the Netherlands Metabolomics Centre. He is one of the four PIs of the recently funded Netherlands X-omics Initiative (2018-2027, 40M€; www.x-omics.nl), building a truly integrated x-omics infrastructure; Hankemeier leads the metabolomics programme and builds a high throughput metabolomics facility in his lab.

He has developed a microfluidic 3D cell culture platform allowing to have 40 and more individual cell cultures with organotypic functionality. For example, he has established blood vessels, neuronal co-cultures, gut tubes in that platform, and used metabolomics to study disease mechanisms and the mechanism of action of drugs using patient-derived human cells. 
His ultimate goal is to identify early disease pathways and network changes that can be modulated by interventions to prevent or treat diseases, and support the development of novel intervention strategies to prevent or treat diseases.

He is Medical Delta Professor of Translational Epidemiology at the Department of Epidemiology at Erasmus University Medical Centre. He is the Scientific Director of the Netherlands Metabolomics Centre (www.metabolomicscentre.nl). He is co-founder of  MIMETAS (https://mimetas.com/), the worldwide first organ-on-a-chip company. He has a MSc in chemistry and a PhD in analytical chemistry.  From 1996 to 2004 he was responsible as a scientific Product Manager at the department of Analytical Sciences at TNO for research in the fields of food safety, food quality and metabolomics.

Covid-19 research
Immediately after the global corona outbreak in March, Hankemeier started on using his expertise in metabolomics to unravel why some patients develop much more critical symptoms than other. His consortium recently received a grant of 1 million euros from Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (Health~Holland). Hankemeier: ‘We will determine the metabolic fingerprints in the blood of 5000 to 7000 Covid-19 patients. This fingerprint consists of more than 1000 metabolic products and lipids. It is therefore a direct reflection of all Covid-19 relevant processes that take place in the body. Think of the viral infection, its consequences, and the body's reaction to it.’

In this way, researchers can identify markers that predict which new patients will develop serious symptoms. ‘By combining the obtained profiles with computer models and organs-on-a-chip systems, we can accurately determine what is happening in the sick patients,’ says Hankemeier.

Together with his colleagues, Hankemeier hopes to improve patient care for intensive care patients, the elderly and at-risk groups. With the models and fingerprints, they will also be able to test the effect of existing and new drugs or to optimise patients’ diets and dietary supplements.

Professor of Analytical biosciences

  • Science
  • Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research
  • LACDR/Analytical Biosciences

Work address

Gorlaeus Building
Einsteinweg 55
2333 CC Leiden
Room number GW4.07

Contact

Publications

  • Mundipharma Consultancy
  • Member of Scientific Advisory Board of DSM Advies
  • Agios consultancy
  • Mimetas Co-founder
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