Marie José Kersten performs research in the field of the biology of lymphoma and the development of new treatments. She focuses in particular on care for patients with indolent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and patients with Waldenström’s disease. Hematology is the specialty which provides intensive care to patients with blood, bone marrow and lymph node cancer. It also includes the treatment of benign blood diseases. Major advances have been made in recent years in understanding what exactly goes wrong in a cancer cell. This knowledge is now being translated directly into new, more targeted treatment options.
Kersten has been a staff member at the AMC-UvA’s hematology department since 2002. She previously worked for several years at the Dutch Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital. She conducted her doctoral research into the role of the Epstein-barr virus in HIV-related lymphoma at the AMC-UvA and at Sanquin, and she worked as a postdoc on a personal Dutch Cancer Society grant at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Kersten is the principal investigator for several international clinical trials in the area of lymphoma. Her research has been awarded a number of grants by the Dutch Cancer Society.
She is a co-founder of LYMMCARE (the Lymphoma and Myeloma Center Amsterdam at the AMC-UvA), a centre of expertise for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with specific hematologic malignancies, and of the Dutch LLPC consortium which is focused on performing early clinical studies in the Netherlands. She is vice-chair of the national lymphoma working group and chair of the Scientific Working Group Lymphoma at the European Hematology Association.
Working with Arnon Kater (AMC-UvA) and the departments of pathology and immunology at the AMC-UvA, over the next few years she will be shaping patient care and research in the field of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.