PhD C.M. van der Hoek

Associate Professor
Main activities
Focus of research

There are a variety of diseases for which involvement of a viral pathogen is suspected. Lia van der Hoek has developed a virus-discovery technique that can identify any RNA and DNA virus, in culture or directly in clinical samples (VIDISCA). The method is based on the cDNA amplified restriction fragment length polymorphism technique combined with Next Generation Sequencing and it is successfully used to identify several unknown pathogens among which the human coronavirus HCoV-NL63, Scale Drop Disease Virus and the virus causing Congenital Tremor in piglets. Besides the standard VIDISCA Lia van der Hoek has developed two highly specialized techniques that are able to identify viruses that so far were extremely difficult to recognize: the viruses that share no or very limited identity to known viruses. Via comparisons and antibody capture VIDISCA these viruses are now visible for future research.

Following identification of a virus, a culture system is essential for further investigations. Pseudostratified human airway epithelium is a sophisticated culture system and the best imitation of the human trachea. Lia van der Hoek has used this system to propagate human bocavirus, and human coronavirus-HKU1, two recently identified respiratory viruses for which no culture system was available.

The unbiased identification of viruses allows not only the detection of new viruses but also the description of the entire "virome", which is the pool of viruses present at a certain site of the body (e.g. the gut or the circulation). An example of the virome research of Lia van der Hoek is the investigation of blood of pregnant mothers, of whom it was known whether the offspring did, or did not, develop schizophrenia. This study revealed that a limited virome in the circulation of the pregnant mother is associated with the development of schizophrenia in the offspring.

Key publications
  • de Groof Ad, Guelen Lars, Deijs Martin, van der Wal Yorick, Miyata Masato, Ng Kah Sing, van Grinsven Lotte, Simmelink Bartjan, Biermann Yvonne, Grisez Luc, van Lent Jan, de Ronde Anthony, Chang Siow Foong, Schrier Carla, van der Hoek Lia A Novel Virus Causes Scale Drop Disease in Lates calcarifer PLoS pathogens 2015;11 (8):e1005074 [PubMed]
  • Oude Munnink Bas B., Canuti Marta, Deijs Martin, de Vries Michel, Jebbink Maarten F., Rebers Sjoerd, Molenkamp Richard, van Hemert Formijn J., Chung Kevin, Cotten Matthew, Snijders Fransje, Sol Cees J. A., van der Hoek Lia Unexplained diarrhoea in HIV-1 infected individuals BMC infectious diseases 2014;14 (1):22 [PubMed]
  • Dijkman Ronald, Jebbink Maarten F., Koekkoek Sylvie M., Deijs Martin, Jónsdóttir Hulda R., Molenkamp Richard, Ieven Margareta, Goossens Herman, Thiel Volker, van der Hoek Lia Isolation and characterization of current human coronavirus strains in primary human epithelial cell cultures reveal differences in target cell tropism Journal of virology 2013;87 (11):6081-6090 [PubMed]
  • de Vries Michel, Deijs Martin, Canuti Marta, van Schaik Barbera D. C., Faria Nuno R., van de Garde Martijn D. B., Jachimowski Loes C. M., Jebbink Maarten F., Jakobs Marja, Luyf Angela C. M., Coenjaerts Frank E. J., Claas Eric C. J., Molenkamp Richard, Koekkoek Sylvie M., Lammens Christine, Leus Frank, Goossens Herman, Ieven Margareta, Baas Frank, van der Hoek Lia A Sensitive Assay for Virus Discovery in Respiratory Clinical Samples PLoS ONE 2011;6 (1):e16118 [PubMed]
  • van der Hoek Lia, Pyrc Krzysztof, Jebbink Maarten F., Vermeulen-Oost Wilma, Berkhout Ron J. M., Wolthers Katja C., Wertheim-van Dillen Pauline M. E., Kaandorp Jos, Spaargaren Joke, Berkhout Ben Identification of a new human coronavirus Nature medicine 2004;10 (4):368-373 [PubMed]
All Publications
Research programmes

PhD C.M. van der Hoek (Virus Discovery and Viromics)

Identification and characterisation of novel viruses involved in human disease

Funding is received from European Union H2020 programme:

  • HONOURs: an EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie project on host switching pathogens, infectious outbreaks and zoonosis; Project 721367. 


MSc B.B. Oude Munnink

PhD S.M. Jazaeri Farsani

BSc M. Deijs
BSc M.F. Jebbink

Current research funding
  • AMC
  • AMC (Vrijgesteld)
  • Europese Unie
  • Intervet International B.V.
  • Primagen Holding BV
  • Vaxxinova International BV