Principal Investigators

Peter Lansdorp

Position Scientific Director, Group Leader of the Laboratory of Genetic Instability, Ageing and Cancer
Research fields Stem cells, telomere biology, genome stability and cancer
  • Research Profile
  • Peter Lansdorp obtained his MD from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam before receiving a PhD in Experimental Hematology from the University of Amsterdam in 1985. During his graduate studies he discovered that selected monoclonal antibodies can be crosslinked into stable, bispecific tetrameric antibody complexes. These reagents have found numerous applications. In Amsterdam he became increasingly interested in growth factors such as IL-6 and the role of stem cells in blood cell formation. In 1985 he moved to the Terry Fox Laboratory at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver, where his work on the purification and culture of human and murine hematopoietic stem cells led him to studies of telomere biology. He developed quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH) techniques using peptide nucleic acid probes to measure the length of telomere repeats in chromosomes and cells. Most laboratories involved in telomere research have adopted these methods. Other current interests are related to the possibility that gene expression and cell fate is regulated in part by chromatin differences between sister chromatids (the “silent sister” hypothesis; Cell 129:1244, 2007) and to the role of telomere length and genome instability in cells of various tissues in ageing. For the latter his laboratory developed novel single cell DNA template strand sequencing techniques (Nature Methods, 2012). Peter Lansdorp is a Distinguished Scientist at the Terry Fox Laboratory and an affiliated Professor at the University of British Columbia. In 2010 he has been appointed to an Endowed Chair at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). He is the first Scientific Director of the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing of the University of Groningen and the UMCG. In 2011 Peter Lansdorp received a €2.5 million Advanced Grant from the European Research Council for a research project on the role of telomeres and stem cells in ageing.

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