Martijn de Jong
Technician – Lab for Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Stem cell Transplantation (UGent, UZGent)
Principal investigator: prof. Tim Lammens (PhD)
Pediatric cancer is the most common cause of disease-related death in children. Cure rates have significantly improved over the last years, but therapy-related late effects are still a common problem. Our goal is to contribute to increase the cure rates of pediatric cancer and decrease the therapy-related late effects within survivors.
We are keeping our focus on various pediatric cancer types i.e. pre-B ALL, JMML, AML and neuroblastoma.
My head task is the therapeutic drug monitoring of the asparaginase activity levels in serum for evaluation of therapy effectiveness. Asparaginase is an enzymatic drug and an essential component of the combination chemotherapy of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). This drug depletes asparagine in the blood, and the malignant lymphoid cells that depend on extracellular asparagine will thus go into apoptosis. Monitoring is essential to identify patients with silent inactivation, and to guide the need to change or maintain therapy.
Next to my main task I provide assistance in working with immunodeficient mice creating patient derived models (PdX) for preclinical compound testing and evaluation, preparing DNA/RNA and protein extractions, flow analyses and other techniques related to our projects.
2009: Bachelor in Medical Laboratory Technology (HoGent)
2012: FELASA-B certificate (HoGent Melle)
2009: Center of Reproductive Medicine (CRG) UZ Brussels. (Skills in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), including IVF, oocyte pick-up, follow up embryonic development and cryopreservation).
2011-2012: Pathology lab (Experience: the full histopathological technical flow of biopsies and cytology).
2012: Research technician (UGent). (Skills: a variety of in vitro and in vivo techniques; working with mouse models, performing isolation of several organs, such as the brain, endothelial cells, hepatocytes, oocytes, cardiomyocytes and smooth muscle cells, used for various scientific approaches; creating a well-established liver mouse model with common bile duct ligation (CBDL) and familiar with anesthesia, blood sampling and injections (IP, IV, SC and intragastric); Cell culture work; different kind of microscopy methods, such as epifluorescence microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy and live cell imaging; PCR for genotyping, qPCR, RNA and DNA extractions, western blot and ELISA).
May 2017: Fulltime cancer research technician in the Pediatric Hematology Oncology. My head task is realtime Asparaginase monitoring. Next to my main task I provide lab assistance in creating patient derived xenografts (PdX) models for preclinical compound testing and a various other techniques related to our projects.