Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Bernards, Rene
Location The Netherlands Cancer Institute
Primary Field Medical Genetics, Hematology and Oncology
 Election Citation
Bernards advanced new cancer treatments by employing genetic screens to discover powerful new drug combinations for the treatment of BRAF mutant colon cancer.
 Research Interests
Rene Bernards' laboratory uses functional genomic approaches to find vulnerabilities of cancers that can be exploited therapeutically. His laboratory uses the power of genetics to identify highly effective drug combinations for the treatment of cancer and to find vulnerabilities of cancer cells of a defined genotype. A more recent research interest is the identification of acquired vulnerabilities of drug resistant cancer cells. This offers the possibility to find novel effective therapies when standard of care therapy has failed. His current research focusses on exploiting senescence for the treatment of cancer. A particularly attractive therapeutic approach that emerges from the concept of pro-senescence therapies for cancer is the ?one-two punch? sequential treatment regimen. In this approach the first therapy consists of the induction of senescence in the cancer cells, which is followed by a second therapy that aims to kill the senescent cancer cells. His laboratory has recently provided the first proof of concept that such a treatment regimen can be effective.

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