dr. P. (Petra) de Graaf Assistant Professor
- Department of Urology
Dr. De Graaf studied chemistry with a master in Biochemistry at Utrecht University (UU). Her PhD was performed at the faculty of biology (UU) in the laboratory of Prof. Arie Verkleij and Dr. Paul van Bergen en Henegouwen on lipid kinases. After a short postdoc in the LUMC Leiden, she returned to Utrecht for an extended postdoc in the lab of Prof. Marc Timmers. Here she introduced microscopy as a tool to study basic transcription regulation. Since 2014 she works in the department of Urology.
Her current research goal is to generate a tissue engineered (TE) source of urethra tissue for use in urethral reconstruction. Ideally, a TE urethra mimics the native urethra, consists of multiple cell layers of different origin, protects the underlying tissue as an efficient barrier from urine, is vascularized and resistant to mechanical forces during surgery. As in many patients undergoing urethral reconstruction surgery, the surrounding corpus spongiosum is either absent (in hypospadias patients) or affected by fibrosis, we aim to integrate the corpus spongiosum in our TE graft, providing the natural vascular environment. The molecular background helps to bring the science to life: experience and knowledge acquired through the years will lead to solutions for health and disease.