Hendrik Marks


Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are derived from the inner cell mass (ICM) of the early
embryo and are widely used as in vitro model to study pluripotency and embryonic
development. Recent advances in stem cell technology enabled the derivation of mouse ESCs
in defined serum-free medium containing 2 kinase inhibitors (2i), so-called “ground state” pluripotent ESCs. The inhibitors are thought to maintain stemness by blocking the signalling
activity of Erk and Gsk3. Information on signal transduction, transcriptional networks and
epigenetic mechanisms acting in ground state pluripotent cells is scarce.

The aim of my research group is to further define the ground state and to decipher regulatory mechanisms that maintain ESCs in the ground state. Current projects include: i) unravel the
mode of action of the 2 kinase inhibitors in ground state pluripotency by state-of-the-art
(phospho)proteomics on signalling pathways and nuclear factors; ii) decipher regulatory
transcription factor networks and epigenetic mechanisms acting to maintain and to exit
the ground state by genome-wide bisulfite sequencing and ChIP-seq; iii) use single cell
RNA-Seq profiling to determine the role of (transcriptional) heterogeneity.


Hendrik Marks obtained his PhD from Wageningen University in genomics and transcriptomics of White Spot Syndrome Virus. In 2006 he joined the department of Molecular Biology at Radboud University Nijmegen to initiate epigenetic profiling of mouse embryonic stem cells. Recently he obtained the prestigious NWO VIDI grant to establish his own research group.

(Inter)national Personal Prizes & Awards

– VIDI personal grant (2013); NWO, The Netherlands; May 2013: 800k euro personal grant to
investigate ESC pluripotency (2013-2018)
– Nomination Radboud Science Award (2013); Radboud
Universiteit Nijmegen, The Netherlands; September 2013
– Best paper of RIMLS institute (2013)
– Educational PhD certificate (2005); CT de Wit PE&RC Graduate School, The Netherlands; November
– Travel Grants (2002-2005); Stichting LEB Fonds The Netherlands: 2.5k euro to visit scientific
meetings in USA/ Canada
– Various of my publications were accompanied by extensive editorials, and
highlighted in national newspapers (see additional info)

Other relevant experience and professional memberships

– Supervision of a large number (international) PhD and MSc students (> 30 students)
– Lecturing/ Supervising in a wide range of practical and theoretical courses at Radboud University, Nijmegen, NL
– Invited member study group NWO (Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research): “Nucleic Acids” (since 2013)
– Advisory Board, Next Generation Sequencing Congress, London, UK (since 2010)
– Presented seminars at > 40 conferences/meetings in Europe/ US over the last 10 years

Selection of my research in the media

– Analist (2014)
– Dutch major newspaper NRC Handelsblad (2013)
– Dutch National Radio 5 Hoe?Zo! (2012)
– Dutch major newspaper Gelderlander (2005)
– Popular science magazine EOS (2005 & 2012)
– Popular science magazine Bionieuws (2012 & 2013)
– Popular science magazine C2W (2012)
– Kennislink (2012 & 2013)
– Noorderlicht (2012)
– NWT-Online (2012)
– ScienceOmega.com (2012)
– Epigenie (2012)