Vera Poort obtained her BSc and MSc degree in Biomedical Sciences at the Radboud University Nijmegen. During her master, her internships focused on validating cancer drug targets at Lead Pharma Holding B.V. and developing syngeneic mouse models to study ovarian cancer at the lab of Prof. R.A. Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute, MIT, USA.
In her PhD project Vera focuses on identifying intratumor heterogeneity in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients. T-ALL is an aggressive lymphoid malignancy characterized by aberrant proliferation of T-cell precursor cells, because of chromosomal rearrangements activating specific oncogenic transcription factors. Besides these driving events, T-ALL cells commonly acquire additional mutations in genes including NOTCH1, IL7R, JAK, STAT, ERK, PTEN, PI3K. Like many other cancers, it has been shown that mutations in T-ALL can occur sub clonally. This molecular heterogeneity in T-ALL is a large contributor to therapy resistance and relapse. We use novel single-cell sequencing strategies and bioinformatic approaches to elucidate the correlation between different single-cell multi-omics data sets with the goal to better understand the onset and development of T-ALL.