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Martijn Koppens

Post-doctoral researcher


In 2016, I joined the Leedham lab as a Postdoc to work on elucidating the role of GREM1 during tissue regeneration. The principle topic of my PhD project, in the lab of Maarten van Lohuizen at the NKI in Amsterdam, was epigenetic control of epithelial homeostasis in the intestine. It is becoming ever more evident, however, how important the stromal compartment is for the intestinal epithelium at both homeostatic and non-homeostatic conditions. I find this interplay between different cell types a very intriguing aspect of organs, and it is my major focus in the Leedham lab. In collaboration with Dr. Viktor Kölzer, we are performing spatiotemporal analysis of GREM1 upregulation in different mouse models for colitis to elucidate the identity of GREM1-expressing stromal cells. We are employing additional genetically engineered mouse models to assess how GREM1 contributes to epithelial regeneration and malignant transformation. Further, I am using organoid co-cultures to functionally analyse the crosstalk between stroma and epithelium.