Rob Wolthuis

DR., (Principal Investigator), Associate Professor, Head of Oncogenetics

1993 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Cancer Genes · Oncogenetics · Cell Cycle and DNA Damage Repair Pathways · CRISPR Genomics

Research interests

  • Identification of Novel Cancer Genes and Pathways
  • Mechanisms Relevant for the Detection, Prevention and Treatment of Hereditary Cancer
  • Factors Contributing to Genome Integrity and Cell Division
  • Functional Genomics and CRISPR/Cas Applications

Rob Wolthuis is Associate Professor at the Department of Human Genetics, Amsterdam UMC. He is the Head of the Section of Oncogenetics and co-manager of the Amsterdam UMC CRISPR Expertise Center.

The Oncogenetics Section traditionally employs patient-derived cell models and their cDNA complemented counterparts to investigate hereditary cancer genes. Building on this foundation, they are engineering tissue-specific human cancer cell models by CRISPR/Cas-based gene editing now, to study cancer genes and associated pathways. The objectives are to understand the mechanisms underlying cancer formation, to identify disease markers and to pinpoint tumour vulnerabilities that could be exploited therapeutically.

A significant advancement in our research has been the development of genome-wide CRISPR screening pipelines in Cas9-inducible diploid human epithelial cells. This technique is instrumental in screening isogenic models of cancer genes. The resulting molecular genetic networks, thereby support the identification of potential biomarkers and targets for drug development.

Furthermore, Wolthuis's team is engaged in genome-wide screens in conjunction with targeted cancer drugs or relevant compounds. This research is critical in understanding genes underlying drug responses and reveal potential mechanisms of drug resistance. Obtained insights may also help to reveal disease prevention strategies for cancer predisposed individuals.

They are also pioneering the development of other CRISPR-related applications, e.g. the use of Cas12 in genome diagnostics. Looking ahead, there is an ambitious vision to explore the integration of targeted gene editing within clinically relevant therapeutic genetics.


  • Associate Professor at the Department of Human Genetics, Amsterdam UMC
  • Member of the Human Genetics Executive Daily Board
  • Theme Leader in Cancer Biology, Cancer Center Amsterdam
  • Manager Amsterdam UMC CRISPR Expertise Center
  • Course Coordinator VU Master Oncology


External positions

Junior Group Leader, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands

1 Jan 200731 Dec 2014

Postdoctoral Researcher, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands

1 Jan 200431 Dec 2006

KWF Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

1 Jan 200031 Dec 2003

Junior Postdoc, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

1 Feb 199831 Dec 1999

PhD Student, UMC Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

1 Sept 199327 Jan 1998

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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