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Rick Essers

PhD candidate

+31 43 38 71272



Laboratory of Cellular Genomic Medicine
Department of Clinical Genetics
Maastricht UMC+
P. Debyelaan 25
6229 HX Maastricht
The Netherlands

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About me

I am working at the Cellular Genomic Medicine lab of Masoud Zamani Esteki. Our young research group is embedded within the Department of Clinical Genetics (MUMC+) and the Department of Genetics and Cell Biology (Maastricht University). We are investigating the genetic basis of early stages of human development and try to actively translate our knowledge and technologies into the clinic.

One example of this is my PhD project. One of the goals of preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) is to avoid the transmission of genetic disorders to their offspring. Currently, whole genome PGT methods require genetic material from a close relative to phase parental genomes. Haplotype phasing means deciphering the parental origin of alleles to individual parental homologue level and is important for discerning segregational origin (meiotic/mitotic). This makes PGT dependent on close relatives, e.g. grandparents or child,  of the couples and does not allow tracing the inheritance of de novo mutations to the embryos. With a combination of novel wet- and dry-lab techniques I try to solve these substantial limitations in the current PGT practice.

My academic career started with Health Sciences (BSc) at Maastricht University where I specialized in Biology & Health, after which I studied Biomedical Sciences (MSc) with a specialization in Regenerative Medicine. During these studies I completed multiple internships but one of my favorites was my internship at the department of Clinical Genetics. This eventually led me to pursue a PhD within this field.







PhD student, “Development of integrative (epi)genome haplotyping methods for preimplantation genetic testing”

Master Biomedical Sciences, Regenerative Medicine, Maastricht University

Bachelor Health Sciences, Biology & Health, Maastricht University
Minor: Neural information processing

Bachelor of Psychology (uncompleted), Maastricht University

VWO -pre-university education, Physics and technology; Physics & Health Porta Mosana College Maastricht


Personal touch

Besides research, I spend most of my time enjoying sci-fi books, hiking, playing the guitar, visiting family and trying out new restaurants.

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