We investigate the tumor micro-environment

and treatment resistance (read more)

Group members


Team Leader

Marc Vooijs, PhD


Senior Scientist

Arjan Groot, PhD


PhD students

Anaís Sánchez Castillo (ITN-2019 TheradNET)

Violeta Mendez Ovares (KWF-INTOPROT)

Jonathan Ient (ERC-DIRECT)

Judith Hounjet (NOTCH)

Maikel Verduin (KWF-GLIOMA)


Lorena Giuranno, PhD

Research Technicians

Jolanda Piepers, MSc





Matthew Bull, PhD (University of Auckland NZ)

Amir Ashoorzadeh, PhD (University of Auckland NZ)

Eloy Moreno Roig, PhD

Lydie Barbeau, MSc (University of Essen)

Venus Sosa Iglesias, PhD

Erik Mollen, Msc

Amir Ashoorzadeh, PhD (University of Auckland NZ)

Carolien Wansleeben, PhD

Patrick O' Connor (University of Auckland NZ)

Roger Habets, PhD (KU Leuven)

Sanaz Yahyanejad, PhD (London ON, CAN)

Raffaella Iannone, MSc 

Kim Paesmans, MSc

Alexey Nabatov, PhD 

Caroline Hodin, PhD 

Frank Spaapen, PhD 

Chantal Ramaekers, PhD (Zuyd Hogeschool)

Eelke Gort, PhD, (UMCU)

Geert van Tetering, PhD

Karijn Suijkerbuijk, PhD (UMCU)

Theo van Laar, PhD (UMCU)


Key papers: 


Hounjet, J., R. Habets, M.B. Schaaf, T.C. Hendrickx, L.M.O. Barbeau, S. Yahyanejad, K.M. Rouschop, A.J. Groot, and M. Vooijs, The anti-malarial drug chloroquine sensitizes oncogenic NOTCH1 driven human T-ALL to gamma-secretase inhibition. Oncogene, 2019. 38(27): p. 5457-5468


Giuranno, L., C. Wansleeben, R. Iannone, L. Arathoon, J. Hounjet, A.J. Groot, and M. Vooijs, NOTCH signaling promotes the survival of irradiated basal airway stem cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol, 2019. 317(3): p. L414-L423

Yahyanejad S, Granton PV, Houben A, Vooijs M. (2016) Benefits, limitations and opportunities of NOTCH inhibitors for treatment of Glioma. Transl. Cancer Res. doi: 10.21037/tcr.2016.07.26

Sannerud R, Esselens C. Ejsmont P. Mattera R. Rochin L. ; Kumar Tharkeshwar A. De Baets G. De Wever V. Habets R. Baert V. Vermeire W. Michiels C. Groot A. Wouters R. Dillen K. Vints K.Baatsen P. Munck S. Basi G.  Mercken M. Vooijs M. Bollen M. Schymkowitz J. Rousseau F. Bonifacino J. Van Niel G. De Strooper B. Annaert W. Restricted location of PSEN2 γ-secretase determines substrate specificity and generates an intracellular Aβ pool, Cell, Vol. 166, Issue 1, p193–208

Yahyanejad, S., J. Theys, and M. Vooijs, Targeting Notch to overcome radiation resistance. Oncotarget, 2016. 7(7): p. 7610-28.

Yahyanejad, S., H. King, V. Sosa Iglesias, P. Granton, L. Barbeau, S. van Hoof, A. Groot, R. Habets, J. Prickaerts, A. Chalmers, D. Eekers, J. Theys, S. Short, F. Verhaegen, and M. Vooijs, NOTCH blockade combined with radiation therapy and temozolomide prolongs survival of orthotopic glioblastoma. Oncotarget, 2016(April 10, 2016): p. 1-14. 

Yahyanejad S, van Hoof SJ, Theys J, Barbeau LM, Granton PV, Paesmans K, Verhaegen F, Vooijs M. An image guided small animal radiation therapy platform (SmART) to monitor glioblastoma progression and therapy response. Radiother Oncol. 2015 Jul 7. pii: S0167-8140(15)00313-8. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2015.06.020. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26163089.


Habets, R.A., A.J. Groot, S. Yahyanejad, K. Tiyanont, S.C. Blacklow, and M. Vooijs,

Human NOTCH2 Is Resistant to Ligand-independent Activation by Metalloprotease

Adam17. J Biol Chem, 2015. 290(23): p. 14705-16. 

Groot AJ, Habets R, Yahyanejad S, Hodin CM, Reiss K, Saftig P, Theys J, Vooijs M. Regulated proteolysis of NOTCH2 and NOTCH3 receptors by A-Disintegrin-And-Metalloproteinase (ADAM) 10 and Presenilins. Mol Cell Biol. 2014 May 19. pii: MCB.00206-14 
Theys J, Yahyanejad S, Habets R, Span P, Dubois L, Paesmans K, Kattenbeld B, Cleutjens J, Groot AJ, Schuurbiers OC, Lambin P, Bussink J, Vooijs M. High NOTCH activity induces radiation resistance in non small cell lung cancer. Radiother Oncol. 2013 Sep;108(3):440-5. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2013.06.020. Epub 2013 Jul 25.


Marie-Curie International Training Network (ITN) THERADNET, 14 PhD 

Period: 2019-2022

Project coordinator: University of Zurich , (Co-PI)

Other participants: Maastricht Leuven, Dresden, Paris Essen Zurich, Oxford

Funded by: EU

Sum of contract in Euro’s: 4,300 K

Sum to person; 1 PhD -UM


KWF-Dutch Cancer Society

INTO-PROT: Increasing therapeutic window of proton therapy in brain, head and neck cancer’

Period 2019-2023

C-PI workpackage leader

Funded by: KWF

Sum of contract in Euro’s: 1,6 m€

Sum to person; 1,0 FTE Researcher + benchfee


Glioma organoids as patient avatars to improve precision medicine

Grant #  UM 2018-11698

period 2018-2020

Project Coordinator: Prof. Marc Vooijs

Sum : 150 K€

Funded by: KWF/ Unieke Kansen , Hoog Risico Alpe d'Huzes


Can lipid lowering drugs improve treatment response in Glioblastoma

Grant #  UM 2015-8018

period 2016-2018

Project Coordinator: Prof. Marc Vooijs

Sum : 150 K€

Funded by: KWF/ Unieke Kansen , Hoog Risico Alpe d'Huzes

RADIATE: Radiation Innovations for Therapy and Education
Grant:# 642623

Period: 2015-2018

Project coordinator: University of Oxford , UK

Other participants: Maastricht, Leuven, Dresden, Paris, Essen, Zurich

Sum of contract in Euro’s: 3500 K

Sum to person; 14 PhD

Funded by: H2020 Marie-Curie International Training Network (ITN)

Targeting Notch/g-secretase to enhance standard treatment for non-small cell lung cancer 

Grant# 13-1197

Period: 2013-2016

Project coordinator: Prof. Marc Vooijs

Sum awarded: 280 K€

Funded by: World Wide Cancer Research (formerly AICR)


Capitalizing on Notch Biomarkers (CapNOTCH)

Grant # 334987

Period: 2013-2014

Project coordinator: Prof. Marc Vooijs

Sum awarded: 150 K€

Funded by: ERC PoC (Proof of Concept)


Disabling radiation resistance in Cancer treatment (DIRECT)

Grant # 617060

Period: 2013-2018

Project coordinator: Prof. Marc Vooijs

Sum awarded: 1,85 M€

Funded by: ERC-Consolidator grant


Targeting the Notch protease interface (NOTCH PROTEOLYSIS)

Grant # 208259

Period 2008-2014

Project coordinator: Prof Marc Vooijs

Sum awarded: 1,2 M€

Funded: ERc Starting grant (ERC-Stg)