Geert Kops is professor of Molecular Tumour Cell Biology at the University Medical Center Utrecht, where he researches the origins of cancer. This involves looking at chromosomes, which carry part of an organism's genetic inheritance (DNA). Kops is trying to shed light on the molecular principles of chromosome separation during cell division, and is focusing on a number of enzymes that are essential to this process. This is of interest because faults in chromosome separation can result in serious problems in human development and there are strong indications that such faults contribute to the development of cancer.
“I want to understand what’s gone wrong when a cancer cell develops”
The results of Kops’s molecular research will create a foundation for further applied research into cancer. Along with his colleagues at institutions including the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Hubrecht Institute and the NKI-AvL, his research results are being used to further develop a new treatment for the disease. As such, fundamental research therefore indirectly makes an important contribution to improving human life expectancy and quality of life for cancer patients.