A Personal Touch of Richarda de Voer

Rde Voer _Lab 2014

Please learn more about colleagues in our "Personal Touch" series setting employees in the spotlight. A light-hearted manner to learn about the colleagues you know and those you don't!.

This week: Richarda de Voer






1. Name & Nationality
Richarda M. de Voer, Dutch

2. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
It changed many times, from singer to actress to flight attendant.

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study?
I studied Life Sciences at the Avans Hogeschool in Breda and I did my PhD studies on the immunity of the Dutch population against Meningococcal C disease in the Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Screening at the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in collaboration with the Department of Immunology at the University Medical Centre Utrecht.

4. What is your current function and what would you like to achieve?
After finishing my PhD, I chose a postdoc position in the Cancer Genomics group of the Department of Human Genetics of the Radboudumc. My research focuses on the identification of novel genes that predispose to colorectal cancer. I am currently developing my own research line within this topic, which is aimed at novel syndromic forms of colorectal cancer caused by chromosome segregation defects. With this research line I hope to contribute to unraveling the role of aneuploidies in cancer development.

5. The RIMLS motto is 'to understand molecular mechanisms of disease'. What does this mean for you?
The RIMLS motto for me represents the different aspects of my research topic. By identifying the genetic anomalies that may predispose a person to (colorectal) cancer and detailed information on their phenotype, a better recognition of the disease in other patients will also be possible. Also, by understanding how these anomalies initiate tumorigenesis, e.g. via which pathways, and to what extend other factors, genetic or environmental, contribute to its progression is instrumental for improved diagnosis, disease prevention and ultimately personalized treatment options for all (colorectal) cancer patients.  

6. What is the biggest motivation in your work?
I am very intrigued by the fact that some of us are genetically predisposed to develop cancer at an early age and that others are not. Since cancer can have such devastating impacts on a patient's life, I wish to contribute to the understanding and explanation of the question to why certain people are predisposed to cancer. Knowing how and what is needed for a cell to develop from a normal into a cancerous state is of pivotal importance to optimize the information needed to estimate the patients cancer risk, and to design (targeted) treatment options for patients and their relatives in the future.

7. What is your dream for the future?
My wish for the future is that we will be able to recognize the people at risk to develop  cancer at an early age in life, either by knowing whether they are genetically predisposed or by a recognition of their particular phenotype. By doing so, cancer can be prevented or personalized treatment can be offered. This personalized healthcare will lead to improved quality of life and prognosis for those that have to fight cancer.

8. Fun-facts. State an interesting/obscure fact about yourself together with two  that are false? Correct answer will be revealed to readers in the subsequent edition.
A: I have arachnophobia
B: I have claustrophobia
C: I have aerophobia


Correct answer of Esmé Waanders: B

State an interesting/obscure fact about yourself together with two that are false?
A: I directed a short movie
B: I produced a rock opera
C: I wrote a novel


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