Mark Schoonderwoerd



Endoglin and the immune system: Immunomodulation and therapeutic opportunities

Mark his research mainly focus on the interaction of stromal cells and the Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-b) co-receptor endoglin in colorectal and pancreatic cancers. These two types of cancer are known a high stroma content as high as 95% of the tumor. The tumor stroma consists of three major cell types; 1) endothelial cells forming the blood vessel supplying the tumor of nutrients and oxygen. 2) Immune cells, which can be pro-tumor or anti-tumor depending on the cell types and cytokines in the tumor microenvironment. 3) Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts (CAFs), which are known to secret antigenic and immune regulatory factors.

Previous research from our group has shown that CAF specific endoglin expression at the invasive boarder in stage II colorectal cancer decreases the metastasis free survival in patients. This observation led to further examination of CAF-specific endoglin expression in tumor invasion and metastasis using multiple genetically modified cells and mouse models for colorectal- and pancreatic cancer. In this project we investigate targeting of endoglin and the interaction of endoglin with the immune system. Mark hopes to contribute a small part of the puzzle in the understanding and treatment of these tumors, to further improve the clinical outcome of patients.

Mark Schoonderwoerd obtained his master degree in biology (Animal biology and disease models)  Leiden university in 2016, after which he commenced his PhD project in the group of Luuk Hawinkels. 



Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
Gebouw 1
Kamer C3-79

Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden

Postzone C4-P
Postbus 9600
2300 RC Leiden