Peter ten Dijke


We are interested in unraveling the mechanisms by which transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family members elicit their multifunctional cellular effects and how perturbation in their signal transduction pathways contribute to human diseases. Previous research from us and other laboratories have now firmly established the intracellular signaling cascade of TGF-β via serine/threonine kinase receptors and SMAD transcriptional effectors. However, how this pathway is (mis)regulated in cancer and other diseases, remains not well understood. New research lines have been developed at the interface of biology and chemistry that are different from contemporary methods, with the aim to redirect signaling responses with synthetic molecules for therapeutic gain.

Curriculum Vitae:

Peter ten Dijke received his Ph.D. degree in 1991 from Wageningen University, The Netherlands based on his research on the identification of the third isoform of TGF-β performed at Oncogene Science, Inc., New York, USA. He did his postgraduate studies with Kohei Miyazono and Carl-Henrik Heldin at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR), Uppsala, Sweden. In 1994, he became group leader at LICR and in 1999 he moved to the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In 2005 he moved to the Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands, and is currently a professor of molecular cell biology at Leiden University. His laboratory studies how subverted TGF family signaling is involved in cancer, vascular and bone diseases.  

Ancillary Activities:

Oncode Institute researcher (2018-2022) and guest professor at Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, Tsukuba University, Tsukuba, Japan and Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.

Consultant for UroGen Pharma (Princeton, New Jersey, USA; 2021), Thirona Biosciences (San Diego, California, USA) (2021-present) , Leakna Pharmaceutics (Shanghai, China; 2021-present).

Consultant for Agomab Therapeutics (from 2022)

Consultant for Merck (2022)


  • Designed nanomolar small-molecule inhibitors of Ena/VASP EVH1 interaction impair invasion and extravasation of breast cancer cells.

    Barone M, Müller M, Chiha S, Ren J, Albat D, Soicke A, Dohmen S, Klein M, Bruns J, van Dinther M, Opitz R, Lindemann P, Beerbaum M, Motzny K, Roske Y, Schmieder P, Volkmer R, Nazaré M, Heinemann U, Oschkinat H, Ten Dijke P, Schmalz HG, Kühne R.

    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Nov 24;117(47):29684-29690. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2007213117.

  • Small-Molecule Activity-Based Probe for Monitoring Ubiquitin C-Terminal Hydrolase L1 (UCHL1) Activity in Live Cells and Zebrafish Embryos.

    Kooij R, Liu S, Sapmaz A, Xin BT, Janssen GMC, van Veelen PA, Ovaa H, Dijke PT, Geurink PP.

    J Am Chem Soc. 2020 Sep 30;142(39):16825-16841.

  • Nuclear receptor NR4A1 promotes breast cancer invasion and metastasis by activating TGF-β signalling.

    Zhou F, Drabsch Y, Dekker TJ, de Vinuesa AG, Li Y, Hawinkels LJ, Sheppard KA, Goumans MJ, Luwor RB, de Vries CJ, Mesker WE, Tollenaar RA, Devilee P, Lu CX, Zhu H, Zhang L, ten Dijke P.

    Nat Commun. 2014 Mar 3;5:3388.


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