Profile photo Paul Coffer

Paul Coffer

Full Professor


Paul Coffer studied Biochemistry at Oxford University and obtained his PhD from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in London, UK where he identified Protein Kinase B (PKB/AKT), a critical intracellular hub regulating multiple cellular processes. He then relocated to the Hubrecht Laboratory for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research. This postdoctoral research was involved in investigating the mechanisms by which hematopoietic cytokines can regulate gene expression through transcription factor phosphorylation.

In 1995 Paul moved to the Department of Respiratory Medicine at the University Medical Centre Utrecht to initiate his research group. During this period, work involved studying the role of intracellular signal transduction pathways in regulating both the production and function of leukocytes. Work in his group also demonstrated that PKB-mediated phosphorylation of Forkhead transcription factors (FOXO) was critical for the regulation of leukocyte proliferation and survival. These studies laid the groundwork for his further research into the regulation of hematopoietic stem cell-fate decisions.

In 2005 Paul Coffer was appointed Professor of Pediatric Immunology moving to the Wilhelmina Children's Hospital (UMCU). During this time research was expanded to investigate the molecular mechanisms regulating mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) function and the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) as models of disease. Furthermore, studies investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying T-regulatory cell function were initiated.

In 2010 he moved to the UMC Utrecht Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM)as Professor of Cell Biology and  in 2013 worked at  Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York) for 14 months in Sasha Rudensky's Lab. 

Current research is driven by both fundamental and clinical questions intersecting the fields of tumor biology, immunology and regenerative medicine. This is focused on identifying pathways of cellular communication that can be exploited to selectively target cells in both cancer and (auto)immunity. This translational research applies a broad range of state-of-the-art molecular and cell biological approaches as well as in vivo and ex-vivo models of disease. 

Paul is currently chair of the Utrecht University Regenerative Medicine PhD program and Scientific Director of the Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht.


Research groups

Cellular communication

Research aim


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Recent publications

IFNγ induces epithelial reprogramming driving CXCL11-mediated T cell migration Alessandro Cutilli, Suze A Jansen, Francesca Paolucci, Michal Mokry, Enric Mocholi, Caroline A Lindemans, Paul J Coffer
Chemotherapy-induced intestinal epithelial damage directly promotes galectin-9-driven modulation of T cell behavior Suze A. Jansen, Alessandro Cutilli, Coco de Koning, Marliek van Hoesel, Cynthia L. Frederiks, Leire Saiz Sierra, Stefan Nierkens, Michal Mokry, Edward E.S. Nieuwenhuis, Alan M. Hanash, Enric Mocholi, Paul J. Coffer, Caroline A. Lindemans
iScience, 2024, vol. 27, p.1-19
Chemotherapy-induced intestinal injury promotes Galectin-9-driven modulation of T cell function Suze A Jansen, Alessandro Cutilli, Coco de Koning, Marliek van Hoesel, Leire Saiz Sierra, Stefan Nierkens, Michal Mokry, Edward E S Nieuwenhuis, Alan M Hanash, Enric Mocholi, Paul J Coffer, Caroline A Lindemans
Epigenetic changes in inflammatory arthritis monocytes contribute to disease and can be targeted by JAK inhibition Janneke G C Peeters, Arjan Boltjes, Rianne C Scholman, Stephin J Vervoort, Paul J Coffer, Michal Mokry, Sebastiaan J Vastert, Femke van Wijk, Jorg van Loosdregt
Rheumatology (Oxford, England), 2023, vol. 62, p.2887-2897
Pyruvate metabolism controls chromatin remodeling during CD4+ T cell activation Enric Mocholi, Laura Russo, Keshav Gopal, Andrew G Ramstead, Sophia M Hochrein, Harmjan R Vos, Geert Geeven, Adeolu O Adegoke, Anna Hoekstra, Robert M van Es, Jose Ramos Pittol, Sebastian Vastert, Jared Rutter, Timothy Radstake, Jorg van Loosdregt, Celia Berkers, Michal Mokry, Colin C Anderson, Ryan M O'Connell, Martin Vaeth, John Ussher, Boudewijn M T Burgering, Paul J Coffer
Cell Reports, 2023, vol. 42, p.1-24
Regulation of a progenitor gene program by SOX4 is essential for mammary tumor proliferation M Guy Roukens, Cynthia L Frederiks, Danielle Seinstra, Luca Braccioli, Antoine A Khalil, Cornelieke Pals, Simon De Neck, Laura Bornes, Evelyne Beerling, Michal Mokry, Alain de Bruin, Bart Westendorp, Jacco van Rheenen, Paul J Coffer
Oncogene, 2021, vol. 40, p.6343-6353

Fellowships & Awards

2002: Specialisatie van bloedstamcellen