Marcel Spaargaren

(Principal Investigator), PhD

1990 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests


Marcel Spaargaren obtained his PhD in 1992 at the Hubrecht Institute and the University of Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands. As recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship of the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) he was a visiting scientist at ONYX Pharmaceuticals, Richmond CA, USA, and a postdoctoral researcher at the dept. of Physiological Chemistry, UMC Utrecht. In 1998 he was appointed assistant professor and staff member at the dept. of Pathology of the Academic Medical Center (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

Currently, he is associate professor at the dept. of Pathology of the Amsterdam UMC (location UvA) and board-member of the Lymphoma and Myeloma Center Amsterdam (LYMMCARE; He is also leader of the theme on ‘Target & Therapy Discovery’ (Target & Therapy Discovery CCA ( ) and member of the Research Board of the Cancer Center Amsterdam (CCA; cancer center ), dean of the Oncology Graduate School Amsterdam (OOA; ), and chair of the society for Cancer Biology of the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) (


Research Interest

His research group has a long-standing interest in the molecular and cellular aspects of the pathogenesis of (mature) B-cell malignancies, in particular Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma and Mantle Cell Lymphoma), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Multiple Myeloma and Waldenström’s Macroglobulinemia, with a focus on signal transduction, cell adhesion and migration, and microenvironment-dependence, aiming for the discovery of novel therapeutic targets (e.g., by functional genomic CRISPR screens) and preclinical therapy development.

Specific interests:
- signal transduction
- cell proliferation and survival
- cell adhesion and migration
- tumor microenvironment-dependence

Favorite molecules:
- B-cell antigen receptor
- chemokines (e.g., CXCL12)
- HGF and MET
- WNT and beta-catenin
- heparan sulfate proteoglycans (e.g., Syndecan-1 and CD44)
- adhesion molecules (integrins and cadherins)
- kinases (e.g., Bruton’s tyrosine kinase and PI3K) and inhibitors (e.g., ibrutinib and idelalisib)
- transcription factors (e.g., FOXP1 and NFκB)
- BCL-2 family proteins (e.g., BCL-2 and MCL-1) and inhibitors (e.g., venetoclax)



Oncology, Immunolgy

External positions

Assessment committee UMC Groningen Cancer Research Fund (KRF)

Oct 2023 → …

Member scientific council of the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF), Dutch Cancer Society

Aug 2023 → …

Committee member “COVID-19 Technology and Therapy”, for ZonMw and VWS

2022 → …

Member Editorial board journal Cancers, including section editor for sections Molecular Cancer Biology, Tumor Biology, and Cancer Therapy

2020 → …

Taskforce COVID-19 Diagnostics, supporting the OMT for the ministry of VWS and RIVM (and NVMM)


Program-committee for the annual Dutch Hematology Congress (DHC) of the Dutch Society for Hematology (NVVH) and National Keyperson for the lymphoid (lymphoma/myeloma) theme


Chair, and former secretary/treasurer (2012-2015), of the society for Cancer Biology of the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF-werkgemeenschap Kankerbiologie)

2015 → …

Dean and member of the executive directory of the Oncology Graduate School Amsterdam (OOA: Onderzoekschool Oncologie Amsterdam), for PhD students of the Amsterdam UMC/CCA and the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI)

2011 → …

Co-founder and board-member of the Lymphoma and Myeloma Center Amsterdam (LYMMCARE)

2011 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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