P. Meera Khan

Leiden University Medical Centre, Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands

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Publications (214)1235.23 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene is considered as the true gatekeeper of colonic epithelial proliferation: It is mutated in the majority of colorectal tumors, and mutations occur at early stages of tumor development in mouse and man. These mutant proteins lack most of the seven 20-amino-acid repeats and all SAMP motifs that have been associated with down-regulation of intracellular beta-catenin levels. In addition, they lack the carboxy-terminal domains that bind to DLG, EB1, and microtubulin. APC also appears to be essential in development because homozygosity for mouse Apc mutations invariably results in early embryonic lethality. Here, we describe the generation of a mouse model carrying a targeted mutation at codon 1638 of the mouse Apc gene, Apc1638T, resulting in a truncated Apc protein encompassing three of the seven 20 amino acid repeats and one SAMP motif, but missing all of the carboxy-terminal domains thought to be associated with tumorigenesis. Surprisingly, homozygosity for the Apc1638T mutation is compatible with postnatal life. However, homozygous mutant animals are characterized by growth retardation, a reduced postnatal viability on the B6 genetic background, the absence of preputial glands, and the formation of nipple-associated cysts. Most importantly, Apc1638T/1638T animals that survive to adulthood are tumor free. Although the full complement of Apc1638T is sufficient for proper beta-catenin signaling, dosage reductions of the truncated protein result in increasingly severe defects in beta-catenin regulation. The SAMP motif retained in Apc1638T also appears to be important for this function as shown by analysis of the Apc1572T protein in which its targeted deletion results in a further reduction in the ability of properly controlling beta-catenin/Tcf signaling. These results indicate that the association with DLG, EB1, and microtubulin is less critical for the maintenance of homeostasis by APC than has been suggested previously, and that proper beta-catenin regulation by APC appears to be required for normal embryonic development and tumor suppression.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 1999 · Genes & Development
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of the genetic background on the tumor spectrum of Apc1638N, a mouse model for attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), has been investigated in X-irradiated and untreated F1 hybrids between C57BL/6JIco-Apc1638N (B6) and A/JCrIBR (A/J), BALB/cByJIco (C) or C3H/HeOuJIco (C3). Similar to the ApcMin model, the Apc1638N intestinal tumor multiplicity seems to be modulated by Mom1. Moreover, several additional (X-ray-responsive) modifier loci appear also to affect the Apc1638N intestinal tumor number. The genetic background did not significantly influence the number of spontaneous desmoids and cutaneous cysts in Apc1638N. In general, X-irradiation increased the desmoid multiplicity in Apc1638N females but had no effect in males. The opposite was noted for the cyst multiplicity after X-rays. Surprisingly, X-irradiated CB6F1-Apc1638N females were highly susceptible to the development of ovarian tumors, which displayed clear loss of the wild-type Apc allele.
    No preview · Article · Apr 1999 · Genes Chromosomes and Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of the genetic background on the tumor spectrum of Apc1638N, a mouse model for attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), has been investigated in X-irradiated and untreated F1 hybrids between C57BL/6JIco-Apc1638N (B6) and A/JCrlBR (A/J), BALB/cByJIco (C) or C3H/HeOuJIco (C3). Similar to the ApcMin model, the Apc1638N intestinal tumor multiplicity seems to be modulated by Mom1. Moreover, several additional (X-ray–responsive) modifier loci appear also to affect the Apc1638N intestinal tumor number. The genetic background did not significantly influence the number of spontaneous desmoids and cutaneous cysts in Apc1638N. In general, X-irradiation increased the desmoid multiplicity in Apc1638N females but had no effect in males. The opposite was noted for the cyst multiplicity after X-rays. Surprisingly, X-irradiated CB6F1-Apc1638N females were highly susceptible to the development of ovarian tumors, which displayed clear loss of the wild-type Apc allele. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 24:191–198, 1999. © 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1999 · Genes Chromosomes and Cancer
  • R Fodde · R Smits · N Hofland · M Kielman · P Meera Khan
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    ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer still represents one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality among Western populations. The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene, originally identified as the gene responsible for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), an inherited predisposition to multiple colorectal tumors, is now considered as the true "gatekeeper" of colonic epithelial proliferation. It is mutated in the vast majority of sporadic colorectal tumors, and inactivation of both APC alleles occurs at early stages of tumor development in man and mouse. The study of FAP has also led to one of the most consistent genotype-phenotype correlations in hereditary cancer. However, great phenotypic variability is still observed not only among carriers of the identical APC mutation from unrelated families but also from within the same kindred. The generation of several mouse models carrying specific Apc mutations on the same inbred genetic background has confirmed the genotype-phenotype correlations initially established among FAP patients, as well as provided important insights into the mechanisms of colorectal tumor formation. Here we review the major features of the available animal models for FAP and attempt the formulation of a hypothetical model for APC-driven tumorigenesis based on the observed genetic and phenotypic variability in mouse and man.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1999 · Cytogenetics and cell genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is characterised by hundreds of colorectal adenomas. Endocrine neoplasms have occasionally been reported, as have gastric polyps, which are usually hamartomatous in the fundus of the stomach and adenomatous in the antrum. A 57 year old man with colorectal, gastric, and periampullary adenomatous polyposis, in association with three bilateral adrenocortical adenomas, is presented. Mutation screening showed a 5960delA germline mutation in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene predicted to lead to a premature stop codon. This mutation was found in three of the four children of the patient. Western blot analysis of a lymphoblastoid cell line derived from the patient failed to detect any truncated APC polypeptide. This rare 3' mutation is responsible for an unusually complex and late onset phenotype of FAP.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 1999 · Journal of Medical Genetics

  • No preview · Article · Jan 1999
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 1999 · Nature Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Germ-line mutations in DNA mismatch-repair genes (MSH2, MLH1, PMS1, PMS2, and MSH6) cause susceptibility to hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer. We assessed the prevalence of MSH2 and MLH1 mutations in families suspected of having hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer and evaluated whether clinical findings can predict the outcome of genetic testing. We used denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis to identify MSH2 and MLH1 mutations in 184 kindreds with familial clustering of colorectal cancer or other cancers associated with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer. Information on the site of cancer, the age at diagnosis, and the number of affected family members was obtained from all families. Mutations of MSH2 or MLH1 were found in 47 of the 184 kindreds (26 percent). Clinical factors associated with these mutations were early age at diagnosis of colorectal cancer, the occurrence in the kindred of endometrial cancer or tumors of the small intestine, a higher number of family members with colorectal or endometrial cancer, the presence of multiple colorectal cancers or both colorectal and endometrial cancers in a single family member, and fulfillment of the Amsterdam criteria for the diagnosis of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (at least three family members in two or more successive generations must have colorectal cancer, one of whom is a first-degree relative of the other two; cancer must be diagnosed before the age of 50 in at least one family member; and familial adenomatous polyposis must be ruled out). Multivariate analysis showed that a younger age at diagnosis of colorectal cancer, fulfillment of the Amsterdam criteria, and the presence of endometrial cancer in the kindred were independent predictors of germ-line mutations of MSH2 or MLH1. These results were used to devise a logistic model for estimating the likelihood of a mutation in MSH2 and MLH1. Assessment of clinical findings can improve the rate of detection of mutations of DNA mismatch-repair genes in families suspected of having hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.
    No preview · Article · Sep 1998 · New England Journal of Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: It has been estimated that the prevalence of carriers of a mutated mismatch repair (MMR) gene among the general population in Western countries is between 5 and 50 per 10,000. These carriers have a risk of >85% of developing colorectal carcinoma (CRC) and therefore need careful follow-up. The objective of this study was to analyze the cost-effectiveness of CRC surveillance of carriers of a mutated MMR gene. The authors constructed a model to estimate the potential health effects (life expectancy) and healthcare costs of two strategies: 1) surveillance, with colonoscopy every 2-3 years, and 2) no CRC surveillance. Estimates of the lifetime risk of developing CRC and the stage distribution of CRC for symptomatic patients were derived from the Dutch hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma (HNPCC) registry. The CRC stage specific relative survival rates and the effectiveness of surveillance in preventing or detecting cancer early were based on Finnish studies. The costs of surveillance and treatment were derived from recent American studies. The results showed that 1) surveillance of gene carriers led to an increase in life expectancy of 7 years, and 2) the costs of surveillance under a wide range of assumptions are less than the costs of no CRC surveillance. CRC surveillance of HNPCC gene carriers appears to be effective and considerably less costly than no CRC surveillance and therefore deserves to be supported by governmental agencies and health insurance organizations.
    No preview · Article · May 1998 · Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND It has been estimated that the prevalence of carriers of a mutated mismatch repair (MMR) gene among the general population in Western countries is between 5 and 50 per 10,000. These carriers have a risk of >85% of developing colorectal carcinoma (CRC) and therefore need careful follow-up. The objective of this study was to analyze the cost-effectiveness of CRC surveillance for carriers of a mutated MMR gene.METHODS The authors constructed a model to estimate the potential health effects (life expectancy) and healthcare costs of two strategies: 1) surveillance, with colonoscopy every 2-3 years, and 2) no CRC surveillance. Estimates of the lifetime risk of developing CRC and the stage distribution of CRC for symptomatic patients were derived from the Dutch hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma (HNPCC) registry. The CRC stage specific relative survival rates and the effectiveness of surveillance in preventing or detecting cancer early were based on Finnish studies. The costs of surveillance and treatment were derived from recent American studies.RESULTSThe results showed that 1) surveillance of gene carriers led to an increase in life expectancy of 7 years, and 2) the costs of surveillance under a wide range of assumptions are less than the costs of no CRC surveillance.CONCLUSIONSCRC surveillance of HNPCC gene carriers appears to be effective and considerably less costly than no CRC surveillance and therefore deserves to be supported by governmental agencies and health insurance organizations. Cancer 1998;82:1632-7. © 1998 American Cancer Society.
    Full-text · Article · May 1998 · Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: Germline mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene are responsible for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), an autosomal dominant predisposition to the formation of multiple colorectal adenomas. Moreover, patients with FAP are at high risk of developing several extracolonic manifestations, including desmoids, cutaneous cysts, and tumors of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Although by definition desmoids are nonmalignant, because of their aggressive invasion of local structures, they represent one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality among patients with FAP. This study describes the histopathologic and molecular characterization of Apc1638N, a mouse model for the broad spectrum of extracolonic manifestations characteristic of FAP. Heterozygous Apc+/Apc1638N animals develop fully penetrant and multifocal cutaneous follicular cysts and desmoid tumors in addition to attenuated polyposis of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Moreover, breeding of Apc+/Apc1638N mice in a p53-deficient background results in a dramatic seven-fold increase of the desmoid multiplicity. Because of the attenuated nature of their intestinal phenotype, these mice survive longer than other murine models for Apc-driven tumorigenesis. Therefore, Apc1638N represents an ideal laboratory tool to test various therapeutic intervention strategies for the management of intestinal as well as extraintestinal tumors.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1998 · Gastroenterology
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 1998 · JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute
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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is a common autosomal dominant cancer-susceptibility condition characterized by early onset colorectal cancer. Germ-line mutations in one of four DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes, hMSH2, hMLH1, hPMS1, or hPMS2, are known to cause HNPCC. Although many mutations in these genes have been found in HNPCC kindreds complying with the so-called Amsterdam criteria, little is known about the involvement of these genes in families not satisfying these criteria but showing clear-cut familial clustering of colorectal cancer and other cancers. Here, we applied denaturing gradient-gel electrophoresis to screen for hMSH2 and hMLH1 mutations in two sets of HNPCC families, one set comprising families strictly complying with the Amsterdam criteria and another set in which at least one of the criteria was not satisfied. Interestingly, hMSH2 and hMLH1 mutations were found in 49% of the kindreds fully complying with the Amsterdam criteria, whereas a disease-causing mutation could be identified in only 8% of the families in which the criteria were not satisfied fully. In correspondence with these findings, 4 of 6 colorectal tumors from patients belonging to kindreds meeting the criteria showed microsatellite instability, whereas only 3 of 11 tumors from the other set of families demonstrated this instability. Although the number of tumors included in the study admittedly is small, the frequencies of mutations in the MMR genes show obvious differences between the two clinical sets of families. These results also emphasize the practical importance of the Amsterdam criteria, which provide a valid clinical subdivision between families, on the basis of their chance of carrying an hMSH2 or an hMLH1 mutation, and which bear important consequences for genetic testing and counseling and for the management of colorectal cancer families.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 1997 · The American Journal of Human Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: In an effort to generate a good mouse model for human colorectal cancer, we generated mice which carry a mutation in the adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) gene. Mice which are heterozygous for the mutation, designated Apc1638, develop colonic polyps and tumors of the small intestine. Neoplasms were found in 96% of animals studied, and they included adenomas, adenocarcinomas, and polypoid hyperplasias. The mice developed an average of 3.3 tumors, with the highest number in duodenum, followed by jejunum, stomach, ileum, and colon. Focal areas of dysplasias were observed in the colonic mucosa in 50% of mice which were 10 months old or older. These results suggest that mice carrying the Apc1638 mutation can serve as a good model to study the initiation, progression, and inhibition of gastrointestinal tumors.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1997 · Journal of Experimental Zoology
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    ABSTRACT: Germline mutations of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene are responsible for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), an autosomal dominant predisposition to colorectal cancer. We screened the entire coding region of the APC gene for mutations in an unselected series of 105 Dutch FAP kindreds. For the analysis of exons 1-14, we employed the GC-clamped denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), while the large exon 15 was examined using the protein truncation test. Using this approach, we identified 65 pathogenic mutations in the above 105 apparently unrelated FAP families. The mutations were predominantly either frameshifts (39/65) or single base substitutions (18/65), resulting in premature stop codons. Mutations that would predict abnormal RNA splicing were identified in seven cases. In one of the families, a nonconservative amino acid change was found to segregate with the disease. In spite of the large number of APC mutations reported to date, we identified 27 novel germline mutations in our patients, which reiterates the great heterogeneity of the mutation spectrum in FAP. In addition to the point mutations identified in our patients, structural rearrangements of APC were found in two pedigrees, by Southern blot analysis. The present study indicates that the combined use of DGGE, protein truncation test, and Southern blot analysis offers an efficient strategy for the presymptomatic diagnosis of FAP by direct mutation detection. We found that the combined use of the currently available molecular approaches still fails to identify the underlying genetic defect in a significant subset of the FAP families. The possible causes for this limitation are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1997 · Human Mutation
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    ABSTRACT: Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an inherited predisposition to colorectal cancer characterized by the development of numerous adenomatous polyps predominantly in the colorectal region. Germline mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene are responsible for most cases of FAP. Mutations at the 5' end of APC are known to be associated with a relatively mild form of the disease, called attenuated adenomatous polyposis coli (AAPC). We identified a frameshift mutation in the 3' part of exon 15, resulting in a stop codon at 1862, in a large Dutch kindred with AAPC. Western blot analysis of lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from affected family members from this kindred, as well as from a previously reported Swiss family carrying a frameshift mutation at codon 1987 and displaying a similar attenuated phenotype, showed only the wild-type APC protein. Our study indicates that chain-terminating mutations located in the 3' part of APC do not result in detectable truncated polypeptides and we hypothesize that this is likely to be the basis for the observed AAPC phenotype.
    No preview · Article · Jan 1997 · Human Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Three germline mutations in the TP53 tumor-suppressor gene are reported, two of which are not reported previously. A missense mutation at codon 265 of TP53 was found in three patients of a family that complied with the definition of the Li-Fraumeni syndrome. A nonsense mutation in codon 306 was found in a woman who had had a rhabdomyosarcoma at age 4 and a subsequent breast cancer at age 22. She was part of a Li-Fraumeni-like family, but the parental origin of the mutation could not be traced. Finally, while screening for somatic alterations in TP53 in a series of 141 sporadic breast tumors, we detected a constitutional missense mutation in codon 235 in a woman diagnosed with breast cancer at age 26 and a recurrence 4 years later. The recurrence, but not the primary tumor, showed an additional missense mutation at codon 245 as well as loss of the wild-type allele. This suggests that the 245 mutation was particularly important for tumor progression and that there might exist heterogeneity in terms of cancer predisposition potential among the various germline TP53 mutations.
    Preview · Article · Jan 1997 · Human Mutation
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    ABSTRACT: Germline mutations of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene are responsible for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), an autosomal dominant predisposition to colorectal cancer. We screened the entire coding region of the APC gene for mutations in an unselected series of 105 Dutch FAP kindreds. For the analysis of exons 1–14, we employed the GC-clamped denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), while the large exon 15 was examined using the protein truncation test. Using this approach, we identified 65 pathogenic mutations in the above 105 apparently unrelated FAP families. The mutations were predominantly either frameshifts (39/65) or single base substitutions (18/65), resulting in premature stop codons. Mutations that would predict abnormal RNA splicing were identified in seven cases. In one of the families, a nonconservative amino acid change was found to segregate with the disease. In spite of the large number of APC mutations reported to date, we identified 27 novel germline mutations in our patients, which reiterates the great heterogeneity of the mutation spectrum in FAP. In addition to the point mutations identified in our patients, structural rearrangements of APC were found in two pedigrees, by Southern blot analysis. The present study indicates that the combined use of DGGE, protein truncation test, and Southern blot analysis offers an efficient strategy for the presymptomatic diagnosis of FAP by direct mutation detection. We found that the combined use of the currently available molecular approaches still fails to identify the underlying genetic defect in a significant subset of the FAP families. The possible causes for this limitation are discussed. © 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Jan 1997 · Human Mutation
  • Rob B. van der Luijt · P. Meera Khan
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    ABSTRACT: The chapter presents a study on the protein truncation test for presymptomatic diagnosis of familial adenomatous polyposis. The protein truncation test (PTT), also known as the “in vitro-synthesized protein (IVSP) assay,” is a method of direct mutation detection that is based on the in vitro transcription and translation of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified sequences. The PTT allows the selective detection of chain-terminating mutations in large amplified segments and has been shown to be uniquely useful for the molecular diagnosis of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Familial adenomatous polyposis is an autosomal dominant predisposition to colorectal cancer, characterized by the development of numerous adenomatous polyps located in the colorectum. Germ line mutations of this gene, designated as “adenomatous polyposis coli” (APC), have been identified in individuals affected with FAP, while somatic APC mutations have been found in sporadic colorectal cancers. Because of the distribution and nature of the mutations in the large APC gene, an ideal method for mutation analysis would be to allow the selective detection of chain-terminating mutations in large stretches of the coding sequence. Such a method, called the “protein truncation test” (PTT), has been developed for the detection of point mutations in the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene. The PTT allows the rapid detection of translation-terminating mutations in the DMD gene, which has a coding region of about 12 kb dispersed among 79 exons.
    No preview · Article · Dec 1996
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    ABSTRACT: Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based analyses of the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene encompassing exons 1-15 revealed a complex pattern of products that were due to alternative splicing of exons 9, 10A and 14. The multiplicity of polypeptide chains obtained from T7-promoter-directed in vitro translation of the RT-PCR product pool was confirmed immunochemically to correspond to the mRNA isoforms, but not to represent products of internal initiation of translation. This observation is of particular relevance for the diagnostic protein truncation test (PTT), since this assay will pick up mRNA variants derived from physiological splice events, e.g., skipping of exons 9, 10A and 14. In vitro-translated proteins of reduced molecular weight were therefore detectable in healthy individuals. We extended this observation to the PTT of cDNA encompassing APC exons 1-14 of familial adenomatous polyposis patients. Knowledge of the normal polypeptide pattern seen in the diagnostic in vitro translation assay allowed us not only to identify translational stop mutations, but even to detect a splice acceptor mutation of exon 14 as a result of quantitative changes of the isoform pattern. Western immuno blot analysis on protein extracts of Epstein-Barr virus-immortalized lymphocytes of the same patients revealed that mutations accessible to the RT-PCR PTT yield intracellularly undetectable APC proteins.
    No preview · Article · Dec 1996 · Human Genetics

Publication Stats

11k Citations
1,235.23 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1973-1999
    • Leiden University Medical Centre
      • Department of Human Genetics
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1968-1999
    • Leiden University
      • • Molecular Cell Biology Group
      • • Leiden Amsterdam Center for Drug Research
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1998
    • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
      Buffalo, New York, United States
  • 1974-1998
    • University of Groningen
      • Department of Dermatology
      Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
  • 1994
    • Medisch Spectrum Twente
      Enschede, Overijssel, Netherlands
  • 1993
    • University College London
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1974-1990
    • TNO
      Delft, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1989
    • Netherlands Cancer Institute
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 1981-1984
    • Erasmus University Rotterdam
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1978
    • Instituut voor Milieuvraagstukken
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands