A Personal Touch

Marke , Rene Jpg

In order to promote interaction amongst all colleagues within RIMLS, we start a '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: René Marke.





1. Name & Nationality 
René Marke, German

2. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a kid, I was always tending between becoming a medical Doctor, a musician or a chef.

3. What was your previous academic training, where did you study?
I received both my Bachelor and Master degree at the Radboud University Nijmegen. I started in 2008 with Medical Biology at the Faculty of Science (FNWI)  and continued my training in 2011 with the Master "Molecular Mechanisms of Diseases" at the medical Faculty. During my studies, I performed three cancer-related Internships, two at the RIMLS in Nijmegen and one at the Ontario Institute for Cancer research in Toronto, Canada.

4. What is your current function and what would you like to achieve?
I just started as a PhD student at the Laboratory of Pediatric Oncology under supervision of Dr. Frank van Leeuwen. During the next 4 years, my work will revolve around the role of IKAROS gene family members in leukemia outgrowth and chemotherapy resistance.   

5. The RIMLS motto is 'to understand molecular mechanisms of disease'. What does this mean for you?
Already during High School, I was fascinated by human Pathology and wanted to understand in detail why we are developing diseases like Alzheimer or cancer. Realizing fast that the answer to fully understand  this diseases can only be found on the molecular level, I decided very early to go into biomedical research. In my eyes, the dialog between the clinic and the research labs hold great potential to unravel diseases and the RIMLS is putting effort into realizing this. Therefore, I believe that understanding the molecular mechanisms of diseases should not be achieved in an Ivory tower but rather should be done with the aim to impact the daily routine in the clinic.

6. What is the biggest motivation in your work?
My biggest motivation is the therapy improvement for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients. Despite of a treatment success rate of almost 85%, we still have to do our best to cure the remaining patients and to eradicate the sometimes severe side effects of chemotherapy in ALL patients.  Knowing that the work we are doing at the Laboratory of Pediatric Oncology is improving the treatment of patients at the Radboudumc and that novel findings will have a direct impact on the clinic is therefore my biggest reward.    

7. What is your dream for the future?
I personally hope that in the nearby future, theunited effort of researchers all over the world will lead to a deep understanding of cancer initiation and development, ultimately transforming cancer from a death sentence into a chronic and controllable disease. In this process, I would like to contribute by bridging between the lab and the clinic and introduce novel genetic prognostic factors to clinical protocols .

8. Fun-facts. State an interesting/obscure fact about yourself together with two that are false?  
A: I do not know how to ride a bike
B: I play monthly gigs with my band at Cafe Dollars in Nijmegen.
C: I never learned how to speak Dutch during my studies in Nijmegen.

The correct answer is: B 


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