Lab Profile

Sietske Bakker



I was born and raised in Amsterdam, where I also earned my master’s degree in Biochemistry at the University of Amsterdam. I then pursued a PhD in the lab of Prof. Dr. Hein te Riele at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI). During my PhD I studied the contribution of the Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway in genome stability and tumorigenesis in mouse models, with an emphasis on Fancm. One of my key findings was that Fancm has a unique role in maintaining genome integrity by suppressing sister chromatid exchanges. After my PhD I joined the Passegué lab as a postdoctoral fellow. In her lab I study which genome maintenance pathways hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) employ when exposed to genotoxic insults. More specifically I study how HSCs deal with DNA damage caused by chemotherapeutics that are also known to be responsible for therapy-related leukemia. My overall goal is to understand how HSCs repair DNA damage and the consequences of such DNA repair for the maintenance of HSC genomic stability.