Joost Martens

Research

Recurring chromosomal abnormalities have been identified in
a variety of cancers and are frequently associated with hematological malignancies such as
acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In addition to transcriptional activation of proto-oncogenes
these cytogenetic changes often cause gene fusions leading to expression of chimeric
oncofusion proteins. Our main research goal is to unravel the role of these oncofusion
proteins in carcinogenesis. Our aim is to identify the binding regions, the transcriptional
consequences and epigenetic features associated with oncofusion protein expression.
Next-generation sequencing and high-resolution transcription factor and epigenomic profiling
are being used to identify oncofusion protein target sites which are subsequently
characterized structurally as well as functionally in relation to the etiology of acute
myeloid leukemia using both molecular as well as bioinformatic tools. These studies
contribute to our understanding of both normal and aberrant hematopoietic
development.