Peter Lansdorp was born and raised in the Netherlands. He was trained as a medical doctor at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and obtained a PhD from the University of Amsterdam. In 1985 he moved to the Terry Fox Laboratory in Vancouver, where he worked on the purification and biology of human and murine blood forming stem cells. This work led him to studies of telomere biology for which he developed quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH) techniques. These techniques have become standard in the telomere field. In 2011 Peter Lansdorp became the first Scientific Director of the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing (ERIBA) at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. In 2016 he returned to the Terry Fox Laboratory in Vancouver to continue work on development and applications of Strand-seq. Peter Lansdorp is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a fellow of the Academia Europaea.

Dr. Lansdorp's main research interest has shifted from stem cell biology to telomere biology to current studies on the role of genomic variation in health and disease. For such studies his laboratory has developed a single cell DNA template strand sequence method (Strand-seq). Specifically, Strand-seq is used for studies of:

DNA Repair, by mapping the location of sister chromatid exchange events in cells with engineered defects in DNA repair that are challenged with specific and targeted genetic insults. The focus is on the iron-sulfur DNA helicases DOG-1 and RTEL-1 that were cloned and characterized in our lab (Cheung et al. 2002; Ding et al. 2004) as well as the role of their putative substrates,  guanine quadruplexes DNA structures (Lansdorp and van Wietmarschen 2019). 

Human Genetics, by assembling haplotypes along entire chromosomes (Porubsky, Sanders et al. 2016) and by mapping polymorphic inversions (Sanders, Hills et al. 2016). Strand-seq is used to address both issues (Akbari, Hanlon et al. 2022) (Chaisson, Sanders et al. 2019) and was used, in combination with long read sequence data, to enable complete haplotype aware sequencing of human genomes (Porubsky, Ebert et al. 2021). By including DNA methylation at imprinted regions this approach is currently used to assign alleles to a parent of origin without studying the DNA of the parents (Akbari, Hanlon et al. 2022).

Video Links:

2022. On Strand-seq library construction in open nanoliter arrays. From the CellenONE workshop in Lyon

2023. On the role of telomeres and telomerase in aging and cancer. BC Cancer Research Institute seminar

Summary of Scientific Highlights: 

(supported by >300 publications were cited over 50,000 times) 

  1. Developed B9, an IL-6-dependent cell line that has been instrumental in the IL-6 field. 
  2. Discovered tetrameric antibody complexes. These reagents are key to the commercial success of StemCell Technologies in Vancouver. 
  3. Produced several widely used monoclonal antibodies for stem cell research such as anti-CD34. 
  4. Developed serum-free culture medium and novel assays for hematopoietic stem cells. 
  5. Discovered that self-renewal properties of stem cells are developmentally controlled.
  6. Discovered that around 30-50 base pairs of telomeric DNA are lost with each cell division in blood-forming stem. 
  7. Developed quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (Q-FISH) techniques to measure the length of telomere repeats in chromosomes and cells. More information.
  8. Reported that telomerase KO mice lose around 5kb of telomeric DNA per generation. 
  9. Found that the length of telomere repeats at human chromosome ends differs between chromosomes ends. 
  10. Reported that DOG-1, better known as FANCJ, is required to maintain guanine-rich DNA in C.elegans. 
  11. Cloned and described the function of RTEL1, a iron-sulfur cluster helicase required for telomere maintenance
  12. Founded Repeat Diagnostics, a company that provides clinical telomere length measurments.
  13. Proposed the “silent sister” hypothesis.
  14. Discovered that sister chromatids can be distinguished by their parental DNA template strands.
  15. Developed the single cell Strand-seq method
  16. Generated the first comprehensive maps of polymorphic inversions in human genomes. 
  17. Establishment of haplotypes along entire chromosomes.
  18. Production of Strand-seq libraries in nanoliter volumes.
  19. Assignment of alleles to the parent of origin. 

To learn more about Dr. Lansdorp's research, Click below: Link to highlights

For Dr. Lansdorp's full publication list on Google Scholar, Click here: Link to pub list

Career highlights

1976                MD Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

1985                PhD University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

1986-2011       Scientist, Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada

2005-2011       Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC, Vancouver, BC, Canada

2011-2016       Professor and Founding Scientific Director, European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing, University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands

2016-                Distinguished Scientist, Terry Fox Laboratory, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC, Canada

2016-               Professor, Medical Genetics and Hematology, UBC, Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Professor, Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Professor, Hematology, UBC
  • Associate Member, Experimental Medicine, UBC
  • Associate Member, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, UBC
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Canada
  • Fellow, Academia Europaea
  • MD, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 1976
  • PhD, Experimental Hematology, University of Amsterdam, 1985

Selected Publications

Multi-platform discovery of haplotype-resolved structural variation in human genomes.

Nature communications, 2019
Chaisson, Mark J P, Sanders, Ashley D, Zhao, Xuefang, Malhotra, Ankit, Porubsky, David, Rausch, Tobias, Gardner, Eugene J, Rodriguez, Oscar L, Guo, Li, Collins, Ryan L, Fan, Xian, Wen, Jia, Handsaker, Robert E, Fairley, Susan, Kronenberg, Zev N, Kong, Xiangmeng, Hormozdiari, Fereydoun, Lee, Dillon, Wenger, Aaron M, Hastie, Alex R, Antaki, Danny, Anantharaman, Thomas, Audano, Peter A, Brand, Harrison, Cantsilieris, Stuart, Cao, Han, Cerveira, Eliza, Chen, Chong, Chen, Xintong, Chin, Chen-Shan, Chong, Zechen, Chuang, Nelson T, Lambert, Christine C, Church, Deanna M, Clarke, Laura, Farrell, Andrew, Flores, Joey, Galeev, Timur, Gorkin, David U, Gujral, Madhusudan, Guryev, Victor, Heaton, William Haynes, Korlach, Jonas, Kumar, Sushant, Kwon, Jee Young, Lam, Ernest T, Lee, Jong Eun, Lee, Joyce, Lee, Wan-Ping, Lee, Sau Peng, Li, Shantao, Marks, Patrick, Viaud-Martinez, Karine, Meiers, Sascha, Munson, Katherine M, Navarro, Fabio C P, Nelson, Bradley J, Nodzak, Conor, Noor, Amina, Kyriazopoulou-Panagiotopoulou, Sofia, Pang, Andy W C, Qiu, Yunjiang, Rosanio, Gabriel, Ryan, Mallory, Stütz, Adrian, Spierings, Diana C J, Ward, Alistair, Welch, AnneMarie E, Xiao, Ming, Xu, Wei, Zhang, Chengsheng, Zhu, Qihui, Zheng-Bradley, Xiangqun, Lowy, Ernesto, Yakneen, Sergei, McCarroll, Steven, Jun, Goo, Ding, Li, Koh, Chong Lek, Ren, Bing, Flicek, Paul, Chen, Ken, Gerstein, Mark B, Kwok, Pui-Yan, Lansdorp, Peter M, Marth, Gabor T, Sebat, Jonathan, Shi, Xinghua, Bashir, Ali, Ye, Kai, Devine, Scott E, Talkowski, Michael E, Mills, Ryan E, Marschall, Tobias, Korbel, Jan O, Eichler, Evan E, Lee, Charles
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