Kim Kampen is an assistant professor and group leader at the Department of Radiotherapy. During her Ph.D. (2013-2015), Kim worked with Prof. de Bont (University of Groningen) on the role of vascular endothelial growth factors in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia. From June 2015 onwards, she performed postdoctoral research at the Catholic University (KU Leuven, Belgium) with Prof. Kim De Keersmaecker, studying the role of ribosomal gene defects in cancer. She identified the so called “oncoribosomes”, mutant ribosomes that have specific advantageous translational capacities in T-cell leukemia. Kim showed that RPL10 R98S mutant ribosomes accumulated on a serine synthesis enzyme to induce its translation, which fuels downstream purine synthesis to support leukemia progression in vivo (Kampen et al. Nature Communications 2019).
She received several awards for her research, including the ASH abstract award in 2013, LTMT award for leukemia research in 2016, the AACR-Pezcoller Foundation Scholar-in-Training Award in 2017, and the Rimaux Bartier donation award for best-ranked postdoctoral researcher in 2018. Most recently she was awarded the ASH/EHA TRTH training award 2021/2022, received the KWF Young Investigator Grant 2021, the KNAW early career award 2022, and the FEBS excellence award 2022.
Her current research is focused on the identification of new molecular mechanisms of serine/glycine synthesis upregulation in cancer, which allows building a patient stratification framework for cancers that can benefit from serine synthesis inhibiting compounds.