dr. G.W. (Gijs) van Haaften Associate Professor
- Research Genetics
Areas of expertise
The last five years I have established my own research group working on the genetics and biology of orphan diseases with a focus on metabolic disorders. In my vision genetics is the crucial connecting factor between patients, clinicians, diagnostics, translational research and basic research. I believe in highly collaborative science where my broad background allows me to unite the important stakeholders. My background is highly multidisciplinairy, I studied (bio)chemistry, obtained a PhD in model system genetics followed by postdoctoral work in human disease biology. I have led several successful collaborations, uniting clinicians, lab specialists and researchers from within the UMCU, the Hubrecht Institute and elsewhere, leading to the identification of novel genetic causes of human diseases and last author publications in excellent journals such as Nature Genetics, the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Journal of Human Genetics.
Research program / group
My research group works on the genetics and biology of orphan diseases. We use the latest sequencing technology to identify the causal mutations in rare genetic disorders. Subsequently we study the consequences of these mutations in model systems as human cell lines and the zebrafish. For the zebrafish work we collaborate closely with the lab of Jeroen Bakkers at the Hubrecht institute.
I coordinate the CantuTreat consortium under the frame of E-Rare-2, the ERA-Net for Research on Rare Diseases. The main goal of the €500.000 grant is to develop a therapeutic approach for Cantu syndrome. The project involves setting up a global patient registry and in silico, in vitro and in vivo testing of sulfonylurea drugs to correct the function of the mutated KATP channel.
- Identification of the genetic cause of orphan diseases. We combine whole exome sequencing and subsequent functional studies to pinpoint the causal mutations in several congenital disorders.
- Towards treatment of Cantu syndrome. In 2012 we discovered the genetic cause of Cantu syndrome. This rare genetic disorder, characterized by congenital hypertrichosis, distinctive facial features and cardiac defects, is caused by usually de novo missense mutations in the K-ATP channel subunit ABCC9. Currently we are investigating whether drugs targeting this channel might be beneficial for Cantu patients.
- Congenital heart disease. In collaboration with several departments within the UMC Utrecht we perform genetic analysis and subsequent functional studies to further understand how we can help children with congenital heart disease in the best possible way.
Albertien van Eerde (Post doc)
Anukrati Nigam (PhD student)
Christina Stangl (PhD student)
Edith Peters (Technician)
Federico Tessadori (Senior Post doc)
Glen Monroe (Post doc)
Helen Roessler (PhD student)
Joachim Kutzera (Post doc)
Joline Roze (PhD student)
Karen Duran (Senior Technician)
Kirsten Renkema (Assistant prof)
Rozemarijn Snoek (PhD student)
Sanne Savelberg (Technician)
- Germline mutations affecting the histone H4 core cause a developmental syndrome by altering DNA damage response and cell cycle control. Tessadori F, Giltay JC, Hurst JA, Massink MP, Duran K, Vos HR, van Es RM; Deciphering Developmental Disorders Study, Scott RH, van Gassen KLI, Bakkers J, van Haaften G. Nat Genet. 2017 Nov;49(11):1642-1646.
- Destabilized SMC5/6 complex leads to chromosome breakage syndrome with severe lung disease. van der Crabben SN, Hennus MP, McGregor GA, Ritter DI, Nagamani SC, Wells OS, Harakalova M, Chinn IK, Alt A, Vondrova L, Hochstenbach R, van Montfrans JM, Terheggen-Lagro SW, van Lieshout S, van Roosmalen MJ, Renkens I, Duran K, Nijman IJ, Kloosterman WP, Hennekam E, Orange JS, van Hasselt PM, Wheeler DA, Palecek JJ, Lehmann AR, Oliver AW, Pearl LH, Plon SE, Murray JM, van Haaften G. J Clin Invest. 2016 Aug 1;126(8):2881-92.
- Effectiveness of whole-exome sequencing and costs of the traditional diagnostic trajectory in children with intellectual disability. Monroe GR, Frederix GW, Savelberg SM, de Vries TI, Duran KJ, van der Smagt JJ, Terhal PA, van Hasselt PM, Kroes HY, Verhoeven-Duif NM, Nijman IJ, Carbo EC, van Gassen KL, Knoers NV, Hövels AM, van Haelst MM, Visser G, van Haaften G. Genet Med. 2016 Sep;18(9):949-56.
- Loss-of-Function Mutations in the WNT Co-receptor LRP6 Cause Autosomal-Dominant Oligodontia. Massink MP, Créton MA, Spanevello F, Fennis WM, Cune MS, Savelberg SM, Nijman IJ, Maurice MM, van den Boogaard MJ, van Haaften G. Am J Hum Genet. 2015 Oct 1;97(4):621-6.
- Monocarboxylate transporter 1 deficiency and ketone utilization. van Hasselt PM, Ferdinandusse S, Monroe GR, Ruiter JP, Turkenburg M, Geerlings MJ, Duran K, Harakalova M, van der Zwaag B, Monavari AA, Okur I, Sharrard MJ, Cleary M, O'Connell N, Walker V, Rubio-Gozalbo ME, de Vries MC, Visser G, Houwen RH, van der Smagt JJ, Verhoeven-Duif NM, Wanders RJ, van Haaften G. N Engl J Med. 2014 Nov 13;371(20):1900-7.
Head of section research genetics
Member of management team department of Genetics
Coordinator of the CantuTreat consortium (ERare 2014)
Fellowship and Awards
NWO Veni fellowship 2010
EMBO long-term fellowship 2006
Best paper (Erfelijke Stofwisselsziekten Nederland, 2015)