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Stunnenberg group

The overall aim of our group is to generate and integrate single-cell data to identify tumor clonal heterogeneity and spatial organization, to define the tumor micro-environment (TME) and the communication between tumors and the TME. Single-cell and spatial transcriptome approaches allow for the first time to molecularly define tens of thousands of single cells that make up the tumor and infer their specific role in tumor initiation and maintenance.

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High-grade brain malignancies

We built a glioblastoma atlas at single-cell resolution in adult patients that compiles different studies and created a curated reference map. Our resource provides an easy-to-use platform for cell annotation and hypothesis generation. Besides, we continue studying the cell heterogeneity and how in high-grade gliomas in children, the tumor is organized into distinct cellular communities to understand and unravel the role of the tumor microenvironment (TME) in cancer behavior and development. Finally, the local signaling environment between cancer cells and TME will be studied in intact tissues using spatial transcriptomics.

 For the first time we can molecularly define millions of single cells that make up the tumor and infer their specific role in tumor initiation and maintenance

This project aims to establish a comprehensive single-cell reference map of human patient-derived organoids and matched primary issue to generate gene expression and open chromatin profiles from the same cell. With the reference map, we aim to provide a better insight between and understanding of health and disease.

Pediatric and adult AML

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is an aggressive hematopoietic malignancy with low overall survival; adult and pediatric AML patients suffer from high risk of relapse. To gain insight into the clonal heterogeneity during disease progression, we perform in depth (epi)genome analysis and single-cell RNA sequencing of bone marrow at diagnosis and relapse. In collaboration with the Zwaan and Heidenreich groups, we focus on diagnosis-relapse pairs in childhood AML. These experiments will advance our understanding of clonal evolution and treatment related changes in the composition.

Stunnenberg group