Knijff, Prof.dr. P. de (Peter)


  • Populatie- en evolutiegenetica


HBO Medische Microbiologie
Datum promotie
4 juni 1992
Proefschrift titel
Genetic heterogeneity of apolipoprotein E and its influence on lipoprotein metabolism
Datum oratie
23 juni 2006
Titel oratie
Meehuilen met de wolven
1 maart 2005


Population genetics is all about evolution and migration. We "Dutch" are simply the result of many - often subtle - migration processes by people coming from different parts of the world during the last 25.000 years. As a consequence, we are a genetic heterogeneous population. Within The Netherlands there are numerous small "pockets" of genetically similar individuals differing somewhat from their nearest neighbours. The exact consequence of this mosaic genetic pattern on public health issues is virtually unknown. Population genetics is the fundamental genetic research aimed at the identification and understanding of this mosaic pattern. Once understood and characterised knowledge can be shared with medical geneticists, pharmacogeneticists and genetic epidemiologists. This will lead them to better understand their puzzling observations. The human Y-chromosome is the most sensitive genetic tool to characterize the genetic mosaic of a population because all paternally related males share identical Y-chromosomes for many generations. This also means that the interpretation of Y-chromosome evidence in criminal cases is very complex. It always remains a challenge to explain such complexities in Court. The biostatistical software tools we use to reconstruct migration and evolution is complex and is always in need of rigorous testing. DNA samples of a globally dispersed population is very helpful in those cases. A long personal interest in the complex evolutionary history of Gulls was sufficient reason for me to get my hands on many hundreds of gull DNA samples, analyse them for as many genetic loci as possible and use them to train the same software I use to reconstruct the Human mosaic genetic structure. I can not think of a better way to combine pleasure with work.



Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum
Gebouw 1

Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden
Tel: +31 71 526 9540

Postbus 9600
2300 RC Leiden