Sarah Derks

DR., (Principal Investigator)


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

My research focus is finding better therapies for patients with gastroesophageal cancer (GEA) by studying the biological foundation of the disease. As a physician scientist I use a bedsite-to bench approach and search solutions for clinical problems in the lab. In recent years it has become increasingly apparent that GEA occurs in distinct genomic subtypes with distinct immune infiltrates which influence response to classical immunotherapy. By using fresh tumor samples as well as big genome/transcriptome data and immunogenic GEA mouse models, my lab studies how GEA cells shape their immune microenvironment and how a pre-existing immune infiltrate influences response to standard therapy with the ultimate goal to identify novel targeted immunomodulatory strategies and improve survival of patients with this deadly disease.

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

Education/Academic qualification

Medical Specialist. Medical Oncologist, Amsterdam UMC

1 Apr 20091 Nov 2018

Award Date: 1 Nov 2018

PhD, The interplay between genetics and epigenetics in colorectal cancer., Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands

1 Sept 200431 Mar 2009

Award Date: 2 Oct 2009

Medical School, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands

1 Sept 200127 Jun 2008

Award Date: 27 Jun 2008

External positions

Principle Investigator Oncode Institute

31 Jan 2001 → …


  • RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
  • gastrioesophageal cancers
  • immuno-oncology
  • genomic instability

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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