Research programme

The research programme is very broad and ranges from basic molecular biology of the (tumor) cell to clinical bed-side research. Groundbreaking discoveries in the laboratory can directly be explored for their ability to improve cancer treatment by (pre)clinical studies. The interaction between the scientific disciplines creates a stimulating atmosphere. 

Excellent international status
Research carried out within the OOA participating institutes has an excellent (inter)national status, as demonstrated by the large number of research projects granted in open national and international calls, and the large scientific output of more than 1900 publications each year. The OOA research program is divided in two main programs; Experimental Biology and Experimental Clinical Research.

Research programme ‘Experimental Biology’
Transformation of normal cells into a malignant tumor requires multiple (epi)genetic alterations affecting key genes controlling cellular pathways. Studying genes and proteins involved in these pathways results in better understanding of tumor development, progression and therapy resistance. Using innovative research tools and advanced mouse models, novel components of major cancer-relevant pathways are further unravelled.

Research programme ‘Experimental Clinical Research’
Molecular imaging and genomics provide new opportunities to study the biology of a malignancy in individual patients and allows for development of highly valuable indicators for diagnosis and prediction of disease outcome. Modern state-of-the-art techniques like CT, MRI, SPECT and PET enable imaging methods with high precision and unique molecular and biological information at the tissue level. Targeted cancer therapy, is yet another research focus. Patient-tailored therapy should ensure optimal treatment benefits. Many patient studies trials are performed at the clinical sites to improve the daily management of cancer.

Research facilities
Apart from excellent IT facilities, electronic learning environments and library facilities, the three participating institutes provide top-notch state-of-the-art research facilities in all areas relevant to the study of cancer. New initiatives are being launched, and innovative technologies are developed and implemented. This often occurs in the context of research programmes in which PhD and master’s students are actively involved. Since the students already can get access to these facilities during their internships, they are encouraged to consider them for their own research too. Please view our annual reports for an overview of all OOA facilities

Graduate student positions are provided by the individual research groups at Amsterdam UMC and NKI-AvL. Further information: and Vacancies and career opportunities at Amsterdam UMC – Amsterdam UMC