Prof. PhD J.P. Medema

Full Professor
Main activities
Research, Other
Experimental Oncology and Radiobiology
Focus of research
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Colon Cancer, prognosis, novel therapies and therapy resistance
  • Apoptosis/Cell death mechanisms
  • TNF family members
  • Radiation damage
Key publications
  • Medema Jan Paul, Vermeulen Louis Microenvironmental regulation of stem cells in intestinal homeostasis and cancer Nature 2011;474 (7351):318-326 [PubMed]
  • Medema Jan Paul Cancer stem cells: the challenges ahead Nature cell biology 2013;15 (4):338-344 [PubMed]
  • Guinney Justin, Dienstmann Rodrigo, Wang Xin, de Reyniès Aurélien, Schlicker Andreas, Soneson Charlotte, Marisa Laetitia, Roepman Paul, Nyamundanda Gift, Angelino Paolo, Bot Brian M., Morris Jeffrey S., Simon Iris M., Gerster Sarah, Fessler Evelyn, de Sousa E Melo Felipe, Missiaglia Edoardo, Ramay Hena, Barras David, Homicsko Krisztian, Maru Dipen, Manyam Ganiraju C., Broom Bradley, Boige Valerie, Perez-Villamil Beatriz, Laderas Ted, Salazar Ramon, Gray Joe W., Hanahan Douglas, Tabernero Josep, Bernards Rene, Friend Stephen H., Laurent-Puig Pierre, Medema Jan Paul, Sadanandam Anguraj, Wessels Lodewyk, Delorenzi Mauro, Kopetz Scott, Vermeulen Louis, Tejpar Sabine The consensus molecular subtypes of colorectal cancer Nature medicine 2015;21 (11):1350-1356 [PubMed]
  • de Sousa E Melo Felipe, Colak Selcuk, Buikhuisen Joyce, Koster Jan, Cameron Kate, de Jong Joan H., Tuynman Jurriaan B., Prasetyanti Pramudita R., Fessler Evelyn, van den Bergh Saskia P., Rodermond Hans, Dekker Evelien, van der Loos Chris M., Pals Steven T., van de Vijver Marc J., Versteeg Rogier, Richel Dick J., Vermeulen Louis, Medema Jan Paul Methylation of cancer-stem-cell-associated Wnt target genes predicts poor prognosis in colorectal cancer patients Cell stem cell 2011;9 (5):476-485 [PubMed]
  • Vermeulen L., Medema J. P. De pathogenese van dikkedarmkankerin: C. J. A. Punt, C. A. M. Marijnen, I. D. Nagtegaal, C. J. H. van de Velde, editors. Handboek colorectaal carcinoom. Utrecht: De Tijdstroom; 2013. p. 37-46, ISBN 9789058981967
All Publications
Curriculum Vitae

1986-1991 Study Chemistry, University of Leiden, The Netherlands
Nov1991-Jan1996 Graduate Student at the Dept. of Physiological Chemistry, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Title of thesis: Calcium-induced inhibition of p21Ras: Involvement of p120GAP-associating proteins.
Promotor Prof. Dr. J.L. Bos.
Jun1995 Awarded a postdoctoral fellowship of the Dutch Cancer Society for a two year period
Jan1996 PhD degree
Apr1996-Sep1997 Dutch Cancer Society fellow at the dept. of Tumor Immunology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany. (Head of the Department Prof. Dr. P.H. Krammer).
Sep1997-Mar1998 Dutch Cancer Society Fellow at dept. of Immunohematology and Bloodtransfusion, LUMC.
(Prof. Dr. C.J.M. Melief and Dr. R. Offringa).
Mar1998-April2000 Post Doctoral Fellow at the dept. of Immunohematology
and Bloodtransfusion, LUMC.
April2001-Sep2002 Assistant Professor (UD) at the dept. of Immunohematology
and Bloodtransfusion, LUMC.
Sep2002-Sep2004 Assistant Professor (UD), Head Research, dept of Clinical Oncology, LUMC.
Sep2004-July2005 Associate Professor (UHD), Head Research, Dept of Clinical Oncology LUMC.
Jun2005-now Head Laboratory for Experimental Oncology and Radiobiology (LEXOR), AMC.
Jan2006-now Professor Experimental Oncology and Radiobiology, UVA/AMC.
As of March 2011 Board member of AMC research council
Jan 2012-2015 Honorary Professor, Brunel University London, UK.
Jan 2012-2016 Deputy Head Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine, AMC

As of Jan 2016, Scientific co-director of the Alliance Research Intitute "Cancer Center Amsterdam"

As of Dec 2016, Department Head Center for Experimental Molecular Medicine, AMC

Research programmes

Prof. PhD J.P. Medema (Cell death induction and resistance in tumor cells)


Jan Paul Medema is scientific co-director of the Cancer Center of Amsterdam and professor in Experimental Oncology and Radiobiology. He is heading the Laboratory of EXperimental Oncology and Radiobiology (LEXOR) in the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His laboratory consists of multiple independent research teams that focus on gastrointestinal cancer, including colorectal, pancreatic and esophageal cancer. The research lines headed by Jan Paul Medema all zoom in on a central theme, which is the mechanisms of cell death resistance of tumor cells against therapeutic interventions. The research lines roughly fall into three categories.


1. Colorectal Cancer stem cells. This specific subset of cancer cells has been shown by the LEXOR laboratory to be the driving force of cancers and to reconstitute a complete tumor upon xenotransplantation even when a single cell is used. Moreover, these cells possess a selective resistant to apoptosis induced by chemotherapy and are thus considered to initiate re-growth of the tumor upon therapy cessation. This research program is therefore directed at understanding the signals that maintain the Cancer Stem Cell properties of these cells and at defining their plasticity. Moreover, the aim is to define the mechanisms that underly the cell death resistance and identify therapies that can directly kill or sensitize cancer stem cells.


2. Colorectal cancer prognosis and response to therapy. LEXOR has, together with several international teams, shown that colon cancer patients can be divided into four subgroups, which have clearly distinct biological properties and follow a different clinical course. Of these the mesenchymal subgroup is shown to be associated with dismal prognosis and poor response to therapy. The research in the laboratory is therefore aimed at understanding the origin of the subtypes, the signals that are responsible for the maintenance of the specific biological programs and at identification of the vulnerabilities of the distinct subgroups. Combined with the development of diagnostic tools to identify these subtypes, this program therefore is directed at increasing the insight into the subtype and optimizing therapy for the individual patient.


3. Survival signaling by  the TNF family member APRIL. APRIL is a factor that is expressed in a wide range of tumor cells and appears to enhance their tumorigenicity by stimulating growth and pro-survival signaling. The LEXOR lab has invested strongly in the development of antagonistic tools to inhibit APRIL-induced pro-survival signaling and shown that these affect colorectal cancer growth. This program is currently aimed at understanding the mechanism behind this APRIL-induced survival and growth potentiation in colon cancer, with a final aim to develop the antagonistic tools for clinical use.


PhD M.F. Bijlsma
PhD N.A.P. Franken
Prof. MD PhD L. Vermeulen

PhD D.J. Huels

PhD Students
MSc R. Klaassen

BEng V. Bosch-Lammers
K. Cameron
BEng J.H. de Jong
D. Dekker
BEng H.M. Rodermond
MSc G.G.W. van Bochove
S.P.M. van den Bergh

Prof. MD PhD C.J.A. Punt (Clinical and translational research in gastrointestinal cancer, with focus on colorectal cancer)

Current research funding
  • AMC
  • Bureau Stichting Cancer Center Amsterdam
  • KWF Kankerbestrijding
  • Stichting Oncode Institute