As a trained biochemist and molecular cell biologist I try to understand the role of (and the interplay between) Smad and AP-1 transcription factors and their regulators, such as MAPK cascades, in tumor progression by relevant signaling pathways. I focus amongst others on TGFb family signaling and cooperating pathways, such as the WNT and EGF pathways. I try to understand the mechanisms by which these signaling pathways are (de)regulated in tumor-specific settings, and to investigate how these pro-oncogenic functions can be counteracted by specific drugs.
I studied molecular sciences in Wageningen, the Netherlands. My PhD research has been performed in the group of Alex van der Eb at the laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, University of Leiden, and focused on the mechanism of oncogenic transformation by the adenovirus E1A oncogene. I subsequently worked for 2 years as an EMBO fellow in the group of Peter Herrlich and Peter Angel at the Karlsruhe Research Center, and for 5 years as a KNAW fellow at the department of Molecular Cell Biology at the LUMC. I studied the mechanisms by which genotoxic stresses and growth factors can activate MAPkinase pathways and transcription factor AP-1 components, and, in addition, the effects of the various members and specific dimeric combinations of these protein families on cellular phenotypes.
Specific interactions between Smad proteins and AP-1 components determine TGF-induced breast cancer cell invasion
Sundqvist A, Zieba A, Vasilaki E, Herrera Hidalgo C, Söderberg O, Koinuma D, Miyazono K, Heldin CH, Landegren U, ten Dijke P, and van Dam H.
Oncogene Aug 1;32(31):3606-15. Epub 2012 Aug 27
Growth factors can activate ATF2 via a two-step mechanism: phosphorylation of Thr71 through the Ras-MEK-ERK pathway and of Thr69 through RalGDS-SRC-p38
Ouwens, D. M., de Ruiter, N. D., van der Zon, G.C.M., Carter, A. P., Schouten, J., van der Burgt, C., Kooistra, K.,. Bos, J. L, Maassen, J. A., and van Dam, H.
EMBO J. 21, 3782-3793
Autocrine growth and anchorage independence, two complementing Jun-controlled genetic programmes of cellular transformation of chick embryo fibroblasts.
van Dam, H., Huguier, S., Kooistra. K., Baguet, J., Vial, E., van der Eb, A.J., Herrlich, P., Angel, P. and Castellazzi, M.
Genes Dev., 12, 1998, 1127-1239.