Group Peperzak-Minnema


The focus of our research is designing novel therapies that target malignant B cells. One of the main topics is the regulation of cell death in multiple myeloma and includes involvement of pro-survival BCL-2 family proteins and activation of specific signaling pathways. In addition, we design novel strategies to improve T cell-based immunotherapy directed against B cell lymphomas. For our studies we exclusively use primary patient cells and human cell lines in 2D and 3D hydrogel cultures.

Group members

Group leaders

dr. V. Peperzak Assistant Professor

prof. dr. M.C. Minnema Full Professor

Clinical PIs

dr. R.A.P. Raijmakers Associate Professor - medical

M. Jak Assistant Professor - medical



Laura Mosenberg (senior)

Thomas Kimman

PhD students

Anne Slomp

Ingrid Spaan

Niels van Nieuwenhuijzen

Key plublications

  1. PEPERZAK V, Xiao Y, Veraar EAM, Borst J. CD27 sustains survival of CTLs in virus-infected nonlymphoid tissue in mice by inducing autocrine IL-2 production. Journal of Clinical Investigation 2010; 120(1): 168-178. PMID: 19955658. IF2010 = 14.2 View
  2. PEPERZAK V, Vikstrom I, Walker J, Glaser SP, LePage M, Coquery CM, Erickson LD, Fairfax K, Mackay F, Strasser A, Nutt SL, Tarlinton DM. Mcl-1 is essential for plasma cell survival. Nature Immunology 2013; 14(3): 290-297. PMID: 23377201. IF2013 = 25.0 View
  3. Vikstrom IB, Slomp A, Carrington EM, Moesbergen LM, Chang C, Kelly GL, Glaser SP, Jansen JHM, Leusen JHW, Strasser A, Huang DCS, Lew AM, Tarlinton DM, PEPERZAK V. MCL-1 is required throughout B cell development and its loss sensitizes B cell subsets to inhibition of BCL-2 or BCL-XL. Cell Death Disease 2016; 7(8): e2345. PMID: 27560714. IF2016 = 6.0 View
  4. Oostvogels R, Jak M, Raymakers R, Mous R, MINNEMA MC. Efficacy of retreatment with immunomodulatory drugs and proteasome inhibitors following daratumumab monotherapy in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma patients. Br J Haematol. 2018 Oct;183(1):60-67. PMID: 30080247. IF2018 = 5.2 View
  5. Braham MVJ, Alblas J, Dhert WJA, Öner FC, MINNEMA MC. Possibilities and limitations of an in vitro 3D bone marrow model for the prediction of clinical responses in patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. Haematologica 2019; doi:10.3324/haematol.2018.213355. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 31004023. IF2018 = 7.6 View



Support our research



UMC Utrecht 

  • Marianne Boes, PhD (PI WKZ) and Friederike Meyer-Wentrup, MD PhD (oncologist PMC):  Neoantigens in B cell lymphomas
  • Friederike Meyer-Wentrup, MD PhD (oncologist PMC): 3D culturing of primary Hodgkin lymphoma.
  • Zsolt Sebestyen, PhD (PI UMCU) and Jurgen Kuball, MD PhD (PI / haematologist UMCU): Improving killing efficacy and longevity of engineered T cells
  • Aridaman Pandit, PhD (PI WKZ): Identification of Wnt target genes in multiple myeloma using RNAseq

Other institutions

  • David Huang, MD PhD (PI / haematologist WEHI, Australia): Role and regulation of BCL-2 family proteins in Multiple Myeloma
  • Anja van de Stolpe, MD PhD (PI Philips Research BV): Cell signalling in hematologic malignancies
  • Monique den Boer, MD PhD (PI PMC): 3D culturing of primary B-ALL and multiple myeloma cells

In the media

Onderzoek van de week bij KWF

15 Mar 2019: BREAKING: Bestuur Lymph&Co "adopteert" nieuw baanbrekend onderzoek naar vaccins voor lymfklierkanker bij volwassenen én kinderen - Hollandse Honderd

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At the moment

A new study from our group identifies multiple myeloma patients with a 1q21 amplification as highly sensitive to novel drugs targeting MCL-1. This work was presented at the international myeloma workshop 2019 in Boston (USA) and currently in resubmission for publication in Blood Advances (‘Multiple myeloma with 1q21 amplification is highly sensitive to MCL-1 targeting’).  

Research programs

Infection and Immunity


Research interests

Plasma cell dyscrasias

B cell malignancies

Engineered T cells


BCL-2 protein family