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Monique den Boer

Principal Investigator
Monique den Boer

Prof. dr. Monique den Boer joined the Princess Máxima Center in 2018 as senior principal investigator. Her research group focuses on targets for precision medicine in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. 

Prof.dr. Monique L. den Boer obtained her MSc degree in Biology, specialism Medical Biology, at the University of Utrecht in 1993 (cum laude). In 1998 she obtained her PhD degree at the faculty of Medicine of the ‘Vrije Universiteit’ in Amsterdam for her research about causes of resistance to anthracyclines in children with acute leukemia. In 1999 she moved to the Erasmus MC-Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam to setup the research laboratory of pediatric oncology, which accommodated different research groups dedicated to pediatric leukemia research. In 2005 she became associate professor (UHD) in molecular pediatric oncology at the Erasmus MC. In 2006 she obtained a Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) Vidi laureate grant for studying microRNAs. In 2008 she was awarded with the Translational Research award of the international pediatric oncology society (SIOP) for her discovery of a novel subtype of pediatric leukemia (so-called BCR-ABL1-like ALL). In 2011 she obtained an NWO-Vici program award (1.5 million euro) to initiate leukemic niche research. In 2014 she was appointed as extraordinary professor at the Erasmus MC, followed by a full professorship in 2020 dedicated to pediatric molecular hemato-oncology. In 2018 she was selected as senior Principal Investigator to join the nationwide, virtual Oncode Institute (base fund 1.25 million euro). In 2018 she effectively joined the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology as senior Principal Investigator, after 10 years of pre-work to realize the research facilities behind the scenes. In 2019 she received the ODAS-Dutch Childhood Oncology Group prize for bridging research and clinics and the NWO Open Science award for a well-organized data stewardship program and advocating FAIR data policy.

Monique’s skills and passion reside in identifying what is happening in patients’ leukemic cells and to use this information to define better markers for risk stratification (e.g. ABL-class/BCR-ABL1-like, Ikaros-deletion; both applied in clinics) and/or targeted drugs (e.g. MEK inhibitors in RAS-mutated ALL; HEM-iSMART trial) or to find other ways of therapeutic intervention (e.g. by her leukemic niche research program). She is convinced that a biologist/cancer scientist needs to participate (and invest) in clinical discussions and networks to be able to timely implement laboratory findings. For this reason, she is active in international networks both in leukemia (IntReALL-relapse ALL, I-BFM-biology/resistant disease and ALLtogether-newly diagnosed ALL study groups) and those more specifically linked to drug development in/for children (Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer EU network). She is the pre-clinical chair of the Máxima Comprehensive Childhood Cancer Center – ALL disease group, in which the interaction is stimulated between basic, pre-clinical and clinical scientists and between pediatric and adolescent/adult ALL.