• B cell biology
  • Malignant B cells
  • Regulation of apoptosis
  • Discovery of novel drug targets








Victor Peperzak obtained his PhD at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) in Amsterdam examining the underlying mechanisms of T cell co-stimulation. He subsequently moved to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) in Melbourne, Australia, as a postdoctoral fellow to study the role of pro-survival protein MCL-1 in healthy germinal center B cells and plasma cells. This research line was continued at the AMC in Amsterdam, further studying the regulation of MCL-1 in malignant B cells. He is currently a Principal Investigator at the Laboratory of Translation Immunology of the UMCU in Utrecht focusing on the development of novel drugs that target malignant B cells and multiple myeloma cells.

Research Projects

  • Regulation of (malignant) B cell survival
  • Apoptosis
  • Cellular immunotherapy

Personal Fellowships & Awards

  • MMRF research fellow award (2010-2011)
  • EMBO long-term fellowship (2010-2012)
  • ASI new investigator award (2012)
  • NWO-VENI (ZonMw) personal grant (2013-2016)
  • KWF/Alpe d’Huzes Bas Mulder Award (2015-2021)

Projects and grants

  • KWF/Alpe d’HuZes, project grant: UU 2017-11108. Personalized strategy to avert drug resistance in hematologic cancers (4 years, 1.0 fte PhD student, 1.0 fte Postdoctoral fellow).
  • KWF/Alpe d’HuZes, Bas Mulder award: UU 2015-7663. Towards therapeutic targeting of Myeloid cell leukemia 1 (MCL-1) in B cell cancers (6 years, 1.0 fte technician, 0.5 fte ass.prof).

Scientific Publications

  • DNA-binding of the Tet-transactivator curtails antigen-induced lymphocyte activation in mice. Ottina E, Peperzak V, Schoeler K, Carrington E, Sgonc R, Pellegrini M, Preston S, Herold M, Strasser A, Villunger A. Nature Communications. 2017; In Press
  • Functional disparities among BCL-2 members in tonsillar and leukemic B-cell subsets assessed by BH3-mimetic profiling. Peperzak V, Slinger E, Ter Burg J, Eldering E. Cell Death Differentiation 2017;24(1):111-119.
  • MCL-1 is required throughout B-cell development and its loss sensitizes specific B-cell subsets to inhibition of BCL-2 or BCL-XL. Vikström IB, Slomp A, Carrington EM, Moesbergen LM, Chang C, Kelly GL, Glaser SP, Jansen JH, Leusen JH, Strasser A, Huang DC, Lew AM, Tarlinton DM*, Peperzak V*. Cell Death Disease 2016;7(8):e2345.
  • Mcl-1 is essential for the survival of plasma cells. Peperzak V*, Vikström I*, Walker J, Glaser SP, LePage M, Coquery CM, Erickson LD, Fairfax K, Mackay F, Strasser A, Nutt SL, Tarlinton DM. Nature Immunology. 2013;14(3):290-297.
  • Through a glass less darkly: apoptosis and the germinal center response to antigen. Peperzak V, Vikstrom IB, Tarlinton DM. Immunological Reviews. 2012;247(1):93-106. 
  • Mcl-1 is essential for germinal center formation and B cell memory. Vikstrom I, Carotta S, Lüthje K, Peperzak V, Jost PJ, Glaser S, Busslinger M, Bouillet P, Strasser A, Nutt SL, Tarlinton DM. Science 2010;330(6007):3817-27. 



  • Laura Moesbergen (Senior technician)
  • Marta Cuenca (Postdoctoral fellow)
  • Anne Slomp (PhD student)
  • Ingrid Spaan (PhD student)
  • Sanne Kroos (MSc student)
  • Douwe Bosma (MSc student)
  • Niels Nieuwenhuijzen (SUMMA student)