Single Cell Epigenomics and Cancer Development Group Leader

Renée Beekman will be the team leader of the Single Cell Epigenomics and Cancer Development group from January 2020.


She holds a Master of Science Degree in Molecular Medicine (2005), a Medical Degree (2007, non-practising) and a PhD Degree in Medicine (Hematology, 2013) all obtained at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Her research interests comprise epigenetics, the 3D chromatin structure, bioinformatics and hematological malignancies.


She obtained her PhD Degree in the group of Prof. Dr. I.P. Touw in the Department of Hematology at the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Here she investigated genetic and epigenetic aberrations involved in the development of acute myeloid leukemia, with a major focus on clonal genetic evolution during leukemogenesis. Her PhD period led to the publication of three first author research articles (PlosOne, Blood and Haematologica), three research articles as co-author (BMC Bioinformatics, PlosOne and Blood) and three other publications, e.g., reviews and commentaries.


Next, she obtained two postdoctoral fellowships (a Dutch Rubicon Fellowship and a Marie Curie Fellowship) to conduct a postdoctoral stage in the groups of Prof. Dr. E. Campo and Dr. J.I. Martin-Subero in the IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain from 2013-2018. During her postdoc she majorly explored epigenetic mechanisms, including the 3D chromatin structure, at the genome-wide level in lymphoid leukemias, lymphomas and normal B cells in order to determine new enhancers involved in the development of normal and neoplastic B cells. Her postdoctoral work resulted in three research articles as (shared) first author (Cancer Cell, Nature Medicine and Nature Communications), five research articles as co-author (Genome Research, Nature Genetics, Nature, Leukemia and the British Journal of Haematology) and five other publications, e.g., reviews and commentaries.


In 2018 she received a Junior Leader Fellowship from the Spanish La Caixa Foundation to start her own research line to study the role of epigenetic heterogeneity and stochastic gene expression events in lymphoma development, being carried out in the IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain. In January 2020 she will become junior PI in the CRG and CNAG-CRG, Barcelona, Spain in double affiliation with the IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain. Being embedded in these different research environments, covering basic, translational and clinical biomedical research as well as single-cell sequencing technologies will be of high benefit to better understand the biological mechanisms underlying tumor formation.