Group leaders
Position Principal Investigator
Research fields Effects of radiation on normal tissues
  • Research Profile
  • Selected Publications
  • Rob Coppes obtained his PhD in Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Groningen in 1993. Attracted by the possibility to use a pharmacological approach to attenuate radiation-induced normal tissue damage upon cancer treatment he became a post-doctoral fellowship at Department of Radiobiology at the University of Groningen under the supervision of Profs A.W.T. Konings, A. Vissink and later Prof H.H. Kampinga.

    In 2000 he moved to the department of Radiotherapy as a clinical radiation biologist and started his own lab at the department of Cell Biology to focus on the effect of irradiation on normal tissues such as lung, heart and salivary glands. He became a full professor of Radiotherapy with focus on the radiation biology of normal tissues in 2012. His lab developed in vivo and in vitro organoid models for purification and characterization of stem/progenitor cells from mice, rat and human salivary and thyroid gland as well as the esophagus. This lead to the development of a protocol for adult stem cell therapy for radiation-induced hyposalivation and consequential xerostomia, which is now being translated to the clinic.

    Currently, his group is investigating the possibility of using patient-derived tumour organoids to develop personalized medicine. In 2015 he received the Bacq-and-Alexander Award of the European Radiation Research Society to an outstanding European researcher to recognize achievements in the field of radiation research.

      • Selected Publications:
      1. Wang D, Nagle PW, Wang HH, Smit JK, Faber H, Baanstra M, Karrenbeld A, Chiu RK, Plukker JTM, Coppes RP. Hedgehog Pathway as a Potential Intervention Target in Esophageal Cancer. Cancers (Basel). 2019 Jun 13;11(6). (pdf)
      2. Nagle PW, van Goethem MJ, Kempers M, Kiewit H, Knopf A, Langendijk JA, Brandenburg S, van Luijk P, Coppes RP. In vitro biological response of cancer and normal tissue cells to proton irradiation not affected by an added magnetic field. Radiother Oncol. 2019 May 11;137:125-129. (pdf)
      3. Nagle, PW, Hosper NA, Barazzuol L, Jellema AL, Baanstra M, van Goethem MJ, Brandenburg S, Giesen U, Langendijk JA, van Luijk P, Coppes RP. Lack of DNA damage response at low radiation doses in adult stem cells contributes to organ dysfunction. Clin Cancer Res 2018; 24:24, 6583–93. (pdf)
      4. Nagle PW, Plukker JTM, Muijs CT, van Luijk P, Coppes RP. Patient-derived tumor organoids for prediction of cancer treatment response. Semin Cancer Biol. 2018 Dec;53:258-264. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2018.06.005. (pdf)
      5. Peng X, Varendi K, Maimets M, Andressoo JO, Coppes RP. Role of glial-cell-derived neurotrophic factor in salivary gland stem cell response to irradiation. Radiother. Oncol. 2017 Sep;124(3):448-454. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2017.07.008. (pdf)
      6. Wang D, Plukker JTM, Coppes RP. Cancer stem cells with increased metastatic potential as a therapeutic target for esophageal cancer. Seminars in Cancer Biology, 2017;44:60-66. (pdf)
      7. Pringle S, Maimets M, van der Zwaag M, Stokman MA, van Gosliga D, Zwart E, ... Coppes RP. (2016). Human Salivary Gland Stem Cells Functionally Restore Radiation Damaged Salivary Glands. Stem cells, 34(3), 640-652. (pdf)
      8. Maimets M, Rocchi C, Bron R, Pringle S, Kuipers J, Giepmans BNG, ... Coppes RP. (2016).Long-Term In Vitro Expansion of Salivary Gland Stem Cells Driven by Wnt Signals. Stem Cell Reports, 150-162. (pdf)
      9. van Luijk P, Pringle S, Deasy JO, Moiseenko VV, Faber H, Hovan A, ... Coppes RP. (2015). Sparing the region of the salivary gland containing stem cells preserves saliva production after radiotherapy for head and neck cancer. Science Translational Medicine, 7(305), 305-147.  (pdf)
      10. Nanduri LS, Baanstra M, Faber H, Rocchi C, Zwart E, de Haan G, van Os R, Coppes RP. (2014) Purification and ex vivo expansion of fully functional salivary gland stem cells. Stem Cell Reports. 2014 Dec 9;3(6):957-64.   (pdf)
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