• 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, Unique High Risk Project grant: nr.11270, 2017-2. Empowering the T cell killing machinery to eradicate cancer cells and prevent outgrowth (2 years, 1.0 fte technician).

  • KWF/Alpe d’HuZes, Research Project grant: nr.11108, 2017-1. 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: nr.7663, 2015. 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

Top 6

  • From MGUS to Multiple Myeloma, a Paradigm for Clonal Evolution of Premalignant Cells. van Nieuwenhuijzen N, Spaan I, Raymakers R, PEPERZAK V. Cancer Research 2018; 78(10): 2449-2456.

  • 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; 8(1): 1028.

  • 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.

  • 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)

  • Laura Timmerman (Technician)

  • Thomas Kimman (Technician)

  • Sarah Grabherr (MSc student)