Lifespan research program minisymposium


June 6, 2019    
10:00 am - 12:30 pm


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From genetic studies to understanding autoimmune diseases


Cisca Wijmenga, University of Groningen: “Of man and microbes: the power of population-based cohort studies”

Sebo Withoff, University of, Groningen, Netherlands: “Coeliac Disease on a Chip”

Iris Jonkers, University of Groningen, Netherlands: “Beyond GWAS – Understanding How Genetically Associated Regions Contribute to Coeliac Disease”


Host: Academy Professor Riitta Lahesmaa ( )


Coffee and cookies are served at 10 am.


Spinoza prize winner Dr. Cisca Wijmenga is Lodewijk Sandkuijl Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Groningen, Netherlands and member of Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her research is aimed at unraveling the causal genetic factors of certain hereditary diseases. Her group has adopted a hypothesis-generating, genome-wide approach, and was able to make great progress on elucidating the genetic factors for celiac disease, intracranial aneurysms, type 2 diabetes and celiac disease. They are now working on systems genetics approaches towards understanding complex diseases.

Link to Prof. Wijmenga’s list of publications


Dr. Iris Jonkers is currently working as assistant professor at the University of Groningen. Dr. Jonkers received her PhD on the subject of X chromosome inactivation from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She then worked at the Cornell University, New York, USA, as a postdoc in the group of professor John T Lis, specializing in the regulation of gene expression. Dr. Jonkers is awarded several personal fellowships and grants, including the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship, the Rosalind Franklin Fellowship and the NWO-ALW Vidi personal grant.

Link to Dr. Jonkers’s list of publications


Dr. Sebo Withoff is assistant professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Groningen. He studied Biology (specialization in Biochemistry) at the University of Groningen and in 1996 he obtained his PhD. He performed post-doc research in the Netherlands, in the Dept. of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center Groningen and in the lab of Dr. Inder Verma (Laboratory of Genetics, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA) and as a staff scientist in the lab of Dr. Douglas Green (Department of Immunology, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN).

Link to Dr. Withoff’s list of publications