Research Groups

Barazzuol group

Radiotherapy is an essential and highly effective part of the treatment of many cancers, including paediatric and adult brain tumours. Irradiation of normal brain tissue is, however, unavoidable and can result in major impairments of neurocognitive functioning and reduced quality of life. Similar effects occur after chemotherapy for brain and non-intracranial tumours.

Lara Barazzuol’s group focuses on assessing the effect of radiation (and chemotherapy) on the brain and aims to achieve an improved biological and molecular understanding of cancer treatment-induced neurocognitive dysfunction.

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  • Lara Barazzuol PhD Visit

    Principal Investigator

    Research fields

    PhD students
    postdoctoral fellows
    • All Publications: mepa page or overview (pdf file)
      Selected Publications:
      1. Voshart DC, Klaver M, Jiang Y, van Weering HRJ, van Buuren-Broek F, van der Linden GP, Cinat D, Kiewiet HH, Malimban J, Vazquez-Matias DA, Reali Nazario L, Scholma AC, Sewdihal J, van Goethem MJ, van Luijk P, Coppes RP, Barazzuol L*. Proton therapy induces a local microglial neuroimmune response. Radiotherapy and Oncology 2024; 1:110117. *Corresponding author. Pdf
      2. Voshart DC, Oshima T, Jiang Y, van der Linden GP, Ainslie AP, Reali Nazario L, van Buuren-Broek F, Scholma AC, van Weering HRJ, Brouwer N, Sewdihal J, Brouwer U, Coppes RP, Holtman IR, Eggen BJL, Kooistra SM, Barazzuol L*. Radiotherapy induces persistent innate immune reprogramming of microglia into a primed state. Cell Reports 2024; 43(2):113764. *Corresponding author. Pdf
      3. Ainslie AP, Klaver M, Voshart DC, Gerrits E, den Dunnen WFA, Eggen BJL, Bergink S*, Barazzuol L*. Glioblastoma and its treatment are associated with extensive accelerated brain aging. Aging Cell 2024; 2024;23(3):e14066. *Corresponding author. Pdf
      4. Cinat D, Lena De Souza A, Soto-Gamez A, Jellema-de Bruin AL, Coppes RP, Barazzuol L*. Mitophagy induction improves salivary gland stem/progenitor cell function by reducing senescence after irradiation. Radiotherapy and Oncology 2024;190:110028. *Corresponding author. Pdf
      5. Voshart DC, Wiedemann J, van Luijk P*, Barazzuol L*. Regional Responses in Radiation-Induced Normal Tissue Damage. Cancers 2021;13(3):367. *Corresponding author. Pdf 
      6. Cinat D, Coppes RP and Barazzuol L*. DNA Damage-Induced Inflammatory Microenvironment and Adult Stem Cell Response. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 2021; 8:9:729136. *Corresponding author. Pdf 
      7. Ainslie A, Huiting W, Barazzuol L* and Bergink S*. Genome instability and loss of protein homeostasis: converging paths to neurodegeneration? Open Biology 2021; 11(4):200296. *Corresponding author. Pdf
      8. Rocchi C, Cinat D, Serrano Martinez P, Jellema-de Bruin AL, Baanstra M, Brouwer U, del Angel Zuivre C, Schepers H, van Os R, Barazzuol L*, Coppes RP*. The Hippo signaling pathway effector YAP promotes salivary gland regeneration after injury. Science Signaling 2021;14(712):eabk0599. *Corresponding author. Pdf
      9. Barazzuol L, Coppes RP, van Luijk P. Prevention and treatment of radiotherapy-induced side effects. Molecular Oncology 2020; 14(7),1538-1554. Pdf
      10. Barazzuol L, Ju L, Jeggo PA. A coordinated DNA damage response promotes adult quiescent neural stem cell activation. PLoS Biology 2017; 15(5):e2001264. Pdf
  • When using radiotherapy in the treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumours, damage of normal brain tissue is an unavoidable side effect. This can severely compromise cancer patients’ quality of life by diminishing their neurocognitive function, especially in cases of childhood brain tumours. The underlying mechanisms are not fully understood and, at present, there is no effective treatment.

    Lara Barazzuol’s lab, by using a combination of methodologies (ranging from brain organoids, bioinformatics, in vivo imaging and behavioural tests), aims to understand the underlying biological and molecular mechanisms of radiotherapy-induced neurocognitive dysfunction; and, to elucidate the effect of genetic variation on the pattern and severity of neurocognitive outcome based on clinical data.

    Another interest of Lara Barazzuol’s lab is investigating how defects in DNA repair impact on human health, with a particular focus on neurodegenerative diseases, and understanding how this knowledge can be exploited in the clinic.


    Stand Up To Cancer – Cancer Research UK: BRAINatomy 2: optimizing cognition after brain radiotherapy.

    European Innovation Council (EIC): NuCapCure: Development of innovative proton and neutron therapies with high cancer specificity by ‘hijacking’ the intracellular chemistry of haem biosynthesis.

    Stand Up To Cancer – Cancer Research UK: BRAINatomy 1: a validated anatomical atlas of childhood neuroradiation damage.

    KWF high risk project: Targeting protein aggregation to ameliorate radiotherapy-induced neurocognitive dysfunction.

    KWF Young Investigator project: Preventing radiation-induced neurocognitive dysfunction in patients with paediatric brain tumours: biological mechanisms and potential role of proton therapy.

    ZonMw Off-Road project: An improved understanding of radiotherapy-induced neurocognitive decline: biological mechanisms and treatment potential.

  • Projects for internships of Master’s and technical students are available in the following topics:

      • Investigating the response of radiation or chemotherapy-induced DNA damage on different models from brain organoids to brain tissues
      • Investigating the role of DNA damage-induced protein aggregation, senescence and immune response in neurocognitive dysfunction
      • Analysis and validation of RNA-seq data of brain cells and tissues after DNA damage
      • Analysis of behavioural data and PET neuroimaging after radiation-induced damage


    Open application Internship form MCB section

    Application form for an internship at one of the research groups of the section Medical Cell Biology of the department Biomedical Sciences of Cells and Systems

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