Curriculum Vitae

Prof. dr. Maarten Altelaar

Professor Pharmaceutical Proteomics

Utrecht University, Padualaan  8, Kruyt building, Room O605

3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands

Tel: +31 30 253 9554 /

Curriculum Vitae

Currently, I’m appointed as Professor of Pharmaceutical Proteomics where my group specializes in the development and use of novel mass spectrometry (MS) based proteomics technologies for the detailed characterization of proteins, protein complexes and their post-translational modifications (PTMs). We apply these developments in state-of-the-art quantitative mass spectrometry techniques to diverse projects in the fields of cancer proteomics.

I studied analytical chemistry at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam, after which I performed my Ph.D. at the FOM-Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF). The topic of this research was the development of methodologies for imaging mass spectrometry. After my Ph.D., I joined the Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics group of Albert Heck at the University of Utrecht. Here the focus of my research switched to proteomics-based technologies with emphasis on cellular signaling dynamics.

In my group, we employ innovative proteomics technologies to study cellular signaling dynamics in health and disease. For example, we have employed multi-omics studies to mechanistically decipher the molecular pathways involved in cancer cell signaling and drug resistance. These studies have uncovered potential combinatorial cancer therapies. Furthermore, we develop methods to study the detailed molecular dynamics of several signal transduction pathways involved in development, proliferation, growth and survival, such as PI3K-Akt-mTOR.

For the past 10 years, we have made substantial contributions to the development of proteomics technologies, with emphasis on increasing identification rates, sensitivity and throughput. For example, we contributed to the development of an alternative fragmentation method, termed EThcD, a method that is now implemented in commercial instrumentation and is widely applied in the proteomics field. Further, we devised an automated enrichment strategy for ultrasensitive phosphoproteomics analysis, enabling the study of phosphorylation dynamics in material-limited biological samples such as primary cell cultures and tissue biopsies. Additionally, the group acts at the forefront in developing targeted MS approaches for high-throughput analysis of post-translational modifications (PTMs). We pioneered approaches to study phosphorylation dynamics throughout cellular signaling pathways and also developed a novel targeted MS technology to assess kinome-wide activation states. This innovative technology is now being commercialized by Pepscope, bringing protein kinase profiling technologies to the market. Finally, we have made several contributions to the development of proteomics software tools, such as a software package for improved visualization of quantitative PTM data termed PhosphoPath, which is made freely available as Cytoscape app (>13,500 downloads).

In recent years the group has developed a strong clinical/translational proteomics track. Examples of this research are the identification of protein profiles directly from extracellular vesicles, which allow for breast cancer subtyping, showing potential as non-invasive liquid biopsies for the diagnosis and management of breast cancer patients. Furthermore, Altelaar’s group identified kinase activity profiles that discriminate treatment outcome in triple-negative breast cancer.

The group is also involved in numerous collaborations with researchers from diverse biological fields and Maarten is currently heading the proteomics facility at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Here we have made substantial contributions to various breakthroughs; identifying, amongst others, the enzyme responsible for detyrosinating tubulin, a BRAFV600E kinase domain duplication, KCTD5 as an off-switch for GPCR signaling, novel insights in neuronal polarity and improving immunotherapy impact.

Maarten has currently published over 100 papers in internationally reviewed journals and in 2013 he received a VIDI grant from NWO. Besides his research line at the Utrecht University and heading the proteomics facility at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI), he is currently the treasurer of the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation (IMSF).

Selected publications

  • Rontogianni S, Iskit S, van Doorn S, Peeper DS, Altelaar M. (2020) Combined EGFR and ROCK inhibition in TNBC leads to cell death via impaired autophagic flux. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, 19(2):261-277.
  • Schmidlin T, Debets DO, van Gelder CAGH, Stecker KE, Rontogianni S, van den Eshof BL, Kemper K, Lips EH, van den Biggelaar M, Peeper DS, Heck AJR, Altelaar M. (2019) High-Throughput Assessment of Kinome-wide Activation States. Cell Systems, 9(4):366-374.
  • Rontogianni S, Synadaki E, Li B, Liefaard MC, Lips EH, Wesseling J, Wu W, Altelaar M. (2019) Proteomic profiling of extracellular vesicles allows for human breast cancer subtyping. Communications Biology, 2:325.
  • Vredevoogd DW, Kuilman T, Ligtenberg MA, Boshuizen J, Stecker KE, de Bruijn B, Krijgsman O, Huang X, Kenski JCN, Lacroix R, Mezzadra R, Gomez-Eerland R, Yildiz M, Dagidir I, Apriamashvili G, Zandhuis N, van der Noort V, Visser NL, Blank CU, Altelaar M, Schumacher TN, Peeper DS. (2019) Augmenting Immunotherapy Impact by Lowering Tumor TNF Cytotoxicity Threshold. Cell, 178(3):585-599.
  • Zagorac I, Fernandez-Gaitero S, Penning R, Post H, Bueno MJ, Mouron S, Manso L, Morente MM, Alonso S, Serra V, Muñoz J, Gómez-López G, Lopez-Acosta JF, Jimenez-Renard V, Gris-Oliver A, Al-Shahrour F, Piñeiro-Yañez E, Montoya-Suarez JL, Apala JV, Moreno-Torres A, Colomer R, Dopazo A, Heck AJR, Altelaar  M, Quintela-Fandino M. (2018) In vivo phosphoproteomics reveals kinase activity profiles that predict treatment outcome in triple-negative breast cancer. Nature Communications 9(1), 3501.
  • Brockmann M, Blomen VA, Nieuwenhuis J, Stickel E, Raaben M, Bleijerveld OB, Altelaar AF, Jae TJ and Brummelkamp TR, (2017) Genetic wiring maps of single cell protein states reveal an off-switch for GPCR signaling. Nature 546, 307–311.
  • Smit, Marjon A, Maddalo, Gianluca, Greig, Kylie, Raaijmakers, Linsey M, Possik, Patricia A, van Breukelen, Bas, Cappadona, Salvatore, Heck, Albert Jr, Altelaar, A. F Maarten & Peeper, Daniel S (2014). ROCK1 is a potential combinatorial drug target for BRAF mutant melanoma. Molecular Systems Biology 10 (12), 772.
  • Altelaar, A.F.M., Munoz-Peralta, J. & Heck, A.J.R. (2013). Next-generation proteomics: towards an integrative view of proteome dynamics. Nature Reviews Genetics 14, 35-48.

For a complete publication list: Pubmed or Scholar

Current positions

  • Head of the MS facility at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, The Netherlands.
  • Treasurer of the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation (IMSF).
  • Associate editor EuPA Open Proteomics, published by Elsevier on behalf of the European Proteomics Association (EuPA).