1986 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile


  • Etiology of head and neck cancer: role of HPV and Fanconi anemia
  • Genes involved in head and neck carcinogenesis, and intratumor genetic heterogeneity
  • Genomic biomarkers for early detection and prognostic modeling of head and neck (pre)cancer
  • Target and treatment discovery by functional genomics
  • Clinical trials in head and neck oncology

Research interests

Our Head and neck cancer biology & immunology (HNCBI) research group at the Department of Otolaryngology-head and neck surgery focuses on head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and the precancerous lesions from which these cancers arise with the ultimate aim to translate research findings to the clinic and improve diagnosis, treatment and surveillance. The major research themes are  

  • oncogenesis and genomics
  • molecular diagnosis and early detection
  • tumor-stroma interaction
  • development and evaluation of novel treatments

I chair the Head and neck cancer biology & immunology laboratory and was appointed in 2005 as professor of cancer genomics with the focus on head and neck cancer. Research questions are ultimately focused on the improvement of diagnosis and treatment of head and neck cancer, and there is a close interaction with the clinic. I have (co)authored over 200 peer reviewed papers, and introduced models of head and neck carcinogenesis in the literature. My main interest is in fundamental and translational research, studying head and neck cancer in models as well as human patients. Several findings of own research have been brought from bench to bedside, and have been implemented in care nationally and internationally, amongst which sentinel node biopsy and testing for HPV. My main focus is to investigate etiology and oncogenesis of head and neck cancer, apply descriptive and functional genomics to identify new targets for treatment of cancer and precancer, identify biomarkers for early diagnosis and personalized treatment, and study intratumor genetic heterogeneity. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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