Maria J. Rodriguez Colman, Principal Investigator and Associate Professor

Bachelor’s degree in Biology, University of Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
PhD in Biomedical Sciences, University of Lleida, Catalunya, Spain

I am an enthusiastic scientist always open for a new challenge. I have studied cellular metabolism, mitochondria and cell signalling in plants, yeast and mammalian models. Currently in my group, we investigate the role of metabolism in the regulation of stem cells, differentiation and in cancer.

Think big, Commit to it and Enjoy the Ride!

m.j.rodriguezcolman at

Marlies Ludikhuize, PhD student

During my Master’s at Utrecht University, I performed internships in the Burgering (UMC Utrecht) and in the Zoncu lab (UC, Berkeley). During these internships, I became fascinated by the strong connection between metabolism and cellular signaling. During my PhD at the Rodriguez Colman Lab, I am studying the role of mitochondria in intestinal stem cell maintenance and differentiation. Besides, I also investigate how to target cancer metabolism to enhance the sensitivity to classical anti-colorectal cancer therapies. In my spare time, I love hiking or skiing in the Austrian mountains, cooking and gardening.

M.C.Ludikhuize-2 at

Nguyen Nguyen, PhD student

Since my studies at Leiden University, I have been intrigued by how cancer cells rewire their metabolism to sustain high proliferation, migration, invasion and immune escape. Especially I am interested in molecular mechanisms underlying how these metabolic modifications impact on cell function and cell identity. In our lab, we have established a live cell imaging approach to track metabolic dynamics during organoid development. Our aim is to investigate the contribution of metabolism to stem cell function and to study the metabolic interactions taking place within cells in the tumour. Our research contributes to a better understanding of the mechanisms of cancer cell plasticity and tumor heterogeneity.

T.B.N.Nguyen-9 at

Lotte Burgering, PhD student

Hi! I am Lotte and I am a PhD student in the Rodriguez Colman lab! I did my Master’s at Utrecht University and spend my final year working on metabolism in the lab of M. Vander Heiden (MIT, Cambridge). There, I fell in love with how very fundamental cellular processes like metabolism can drastically impact how cells are behaving. I am very excited to continue working on metabolism in Maria’s lab. I will mostly focus on how environmental and cell-intrinsic metabolic factors affect cellular identity and differentiation. When I am not in the lab, I enjoy playing field hockey, sailing, ice skating and baking cakes, and of course, drinking coffee to go with said cakes and boost that metabolism!!

L.M.Burgering-3 at

Sira Gevers, Technician

I’m Sira and I am the lab technician of the Rodriguez Colman Lab. Before starting my work here, I finished my bachelor’s Lifesciences at the Hogeschool Utrecht. For my graduation internship, I worked in Rodriguez Colman Lab as well. I was asked to stick around as a technician afterwards, to which I happily agreed. When I am not working in the lab I like to spend my time reading fantasy books or playing videogames. Sometimes I like to dabble in some kind of creative hobby however, the type changes every month.

S.Gevers-2 at

Jurica Matkovic, PhD Student

My name is Jurica and I am a PhD student in Rodriguez Colman group. I did my master’s in Croatia and was working on the formation of mitotic spindle and pathways that can lead to aneuploidy. Here at the UMC I’m studying metabolic fluctuations in mitosis and consequences of altered metabolism on cell division. I mostly spend my free time in the nature and with friends, but a good movie will do the job when the weather is bad.

J.Matkovic at

Loubna Al Ayadi, Master’s student

Hi, I am Loubna! I am a Master’s student at Utrecht University and I am currently doing an internship in the Rodriguez Colman lab. My interest in metabolism and cancer has been sparked during my Bachelor in Biomedical Sciences. I find it very intriguing how metabolism plays an essential role in cancer. At the moment, I am studying how metabolism can have an effect on the differentiation of cells. When I am not in the lab, I enjoy to spend time with friends and family.

l.alayadi at

Rutger Kok, Research analist

Hi, my name is Rutger. Most of my work here is computational stuff like image analysis, cell tracking and scRNAseq analysis. Previously, I did a Master’s in chemistry at Utrecht University, and a PhD at AMOLF on tissue maintenance in intestinal organoids, where I developed a cell tracker. I’m fascinated by self-assembly, and how often simple rules lead to complex cellular structures, like healthy tissue or life-threatening cancer tumors.

rkok7 at

Martijn Hendriksen, internship student

Hi, my name is Martijn! Currently I am doing a Bachelor in Life Sciences at the HAN University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen. Now I am doing my graduation internship in the Rodriguez-Colman lab, where I will optimize, validate and applicate fluorescent based and genetically encoded metabolic reporters.

Former members

Dina Mostafa, Postdoc
Lukas Ritter, MSc student
Ninouk Akkerman, MSc student
Irene Zaalberg, MSc student
Bijao Fan, BSc student
Sara Shafiei Roudbari, Technician
Hanna van Beuzokom, MSc student
Sylvie Langhout, BSc student
Madelief Kieboom, BSc student
Fleur van Brakel, BSc student

Mar Burgaya Julià, MSc student
Jasmin Ronach, MSc student
Maaike Meerlo, Technician
Mirjam Verbeek, MSc student

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