Leen M. ‘t Hart

Associate professor


I am the lead scientist of the diabetes ‘omics’ research for the Hoorn studies and the Hoorn Diabetes Care System cohort (DCS, www.hoornstudies.com). My group has performed extensive research in the field of genetics of type 2 diabetes with special focus on deep phenotyping studies, mitochondrial function and progression of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, I have a strong interest in functional studies to further elucidate functional mechanisms behind the observed associations.

Using data from the DCS cohort we for instance showed that several gene variants impact on response to metformin and or DPP-4 inhibitor treatment in type 2 diabetes patients. In addition my team has identified several metabolites in blood that predict incident type 2 diabetes or diabetes progression defined as initiation of insulin secretion. During the last few years we expanded our research into other omics, exploring the potential of genomics, metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics in stratification of patients according their risk for rapid progression of diabetes and development of diabetic complications using a combination of traditional statistical methods and modern techniques such as machine learning.



I was trained in biotechnology (1991), and started my academic career at Leiden University working on a project regarding plant genetics. In 1993 I joined the group of Prof JA Maassen at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) as a research technician working on genetic aspects of diabetes and especially mitochondrial diabetes. In 2002 I obtained my PhD on a thesis titled “Genetic analysis of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and insulin secretion” with Profs JA Maassen (LUMC) en RJ Heine (VUmc) as promotors. I am also affiliated with the Biomedical Data Sciences department of the LUMC and the Department of Epidemiology and Data Science at the Amsterdam UMC.



  • An omics-based machine learning approach to predict diabetes progression: a RHAPSODY study.

    Slieker RC, Münch M, Donnelly LA, Bouland GA, Dragan I, Kuznetsov D, Elders PJM, Rutter GA, Ibberson M, Pearson ER, t Hart LM, van de Wiel MA, Beulens JWJ:

    Diabetologia. 2024 Feb 19. doi: 10.1007/s00125-024-06105-8.

  • Altered blood gene expression in the obesity-related type 2 diabetes cluster may be causally involved in lipid metabolism: a Mendelian randomisation study.

    de Klerk JA, Beulens JWJ, Mei H, Bijkerk R, van Zonneveld AJ, Koivula RW, Elders PJM, 't Hart LM, Slieker RC:

    Diabetologia 2023;66:1057-1070

  • Identification of biomarkers for glycaemic deterioration in type 2 diabetes.

    Slieker RC, Donnelly LA, Akalestou E, et al.

    Nat Commun 2023;14:2533


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