ACADEMIC POSITIONS & EDUCATION
MSNZ, University Hospital Würzburg (DE)
Junior Group Leader, Since January 2020
Adult stem cells–the cells that maintain and regenerate the tissues in our body–reside in a specialised microenvironment termed the stem cell niche. While stem cell niches are tissue-specific, two cellular components–fibroblasts and immune cells–have surfaced as prominent niche members across the body. Stem cells take cues from their microenvironment to control smooth transition between several plastic states, which are critical to maintain tissue homoeostasis and to regenerate in response to injury. Conversely, in diseases such as cancer, aberrant (stem) cells can acquire the ability to remodel their microenvironment allowing for the progression of disease.
My lab aims to decipher the crosstalk between stem/tumour cells and their microenvironment using the epithelia of the head and neck region as model system. To unravel the fundamental mechanisms underlying tissue homeostasis and tumourigenesis, we apply organoid technology, immune/stromal cell–organoid co-cultures, 3D whole-mount imaging and advanced transcriptomics and use both mouse models and patient material. It is our ultimate goal to exploit this communication to improve therapeutic treatments of head and neck cancer patients.
Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht (NL)
Postdoctoral Fellow, June 2014 - DecemBer 2019
I established tools to model the tumour microenvironment in colorectal cancer in vitro using epithelial organoid cultures in the laboratory of Professor Hans C. Clevers. I further studied epidermal stem cells and the regenerative capacity of the adult heart. I was supported by a VENI grant from the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research/NWO and long-term fellows of the Human Frontier Science Program/HFSP and the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).
Activities & Outreach: Hubrecht Institute Postdoc Committee & Career Development Committee
University of Cambridge (UK)
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Genetics, May 2014
I studied epidermal stem cells and the interaction with their mesenchymal niche during homeostasis of adult skin under supervision of Professor Fiona M. Watt at her laboratories at the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute and KCL's Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine.
Activities & Outreach: Cambridge Science Festival, Wolfson Research Day, Open Academy Davos
Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
Degree (Diplom) in Biology, November 2009
I did my final research project (Diplomarbeit) in Cell and Developmental Biology investigating gap junctional communication in skin.
Activities & Outreach: Students' Parliament, Biology Students’ Council, Open Academy Davos
Single-cell derived tumor organoids display diversity in HLA class I peptide presentation.
Nature Communications. 2020 OCT;11(1):5338. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19142-9.
Demmers LC, Kretzschmar K, van Hoeck A, Bar-Ephraim YE, van den Toorn HWP, Koomen M, van Son G, van Gorp J, Pronk A, Smakman N, Cuppen E, Clevers H, Heck AJR & Wu W.
Long-term expansion and differentiation of adult murine epidermal stem cells in 3D organoid cultures.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 2019 JUL; 116(29):14630-14638. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1715272116.
Boonekamp KE, Kretzschmar K, Wiener DJ, Asra P, Derakhshan S, Puschhof J, López-Iglesias C, Peters PJ, Basak O & Clevers H.
Profiling proliferative cells and their progeny in damaged murine hearts.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 2018. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1805829115.
Kretzschmar K*, Post P*, Bannier-Hélaouët M., Mattiotti A, Drost J, Basak O, Li VSW, van den Born M, Gunst QD, Versteeg D, Kooijman L, van der Elst S, van Es JH, van Rooij E, van den Hoff MJB and Clevers H. (* = shared first authors)
Wounding induces dedifferentiation of epidermal Gata6+ cells and acquisition of stem cell properties
Nature Cell Biology. 2017 Jun;19(6):603-613. doi: 10.1038/ncb3532.
Donati D, Rognoni E, Hiratsuka T, Liakath-Ali K, Hoste E, Kar G, Kayikci M, Russell R, Kretzschmar K, Mulder KW, Teichmann SA & Watt, FM.
Generation of an inducible colon-specific Cre enzyme mouse line for colon cancer research.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 2016 Oct. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1614057113.
Tetteh PW, Kretzschmar K, Begthel H, van den Born M, Korving J, Morsink F, Farin HF, van Es JH, Offerhaus GJA & Clevers H.
BLIMP1 is required for postnatal epidermal homeostasis but does not define a sebaceous gland progenitor under steady-state conditions.
Stem Cell Reports. 2014 Oct 14;3(4):620-33. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.08.007.
Kretzschmar K, Cottle DL, Donati G, Chiang MF, Quist SR, Gollnick HP, Natsuga K, Lin KI & Watt FM.
Distinct fibroblast lineages determine dermal architecture in skin development and repair.
Nature. 2013 Dec 12;504(7479):277-81. doi: 10.1038/nature12783.
Driskell RR, Lichtenberger BM*, Hoste E*, Kretzschmar K*, Simons BD, Charalambous M, Ferron SR, Herault Y, Pavlovic G, Ferguson-Smith AC & Watt FM. (* = shared second authors)
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