Dr S.S.M. Rensen

I am a molecular cell biologist by training and apply this background in translational research studies.

My research group focuses on the disturbances of metabolism in cancer cachexia. Relevant observations made in human tissue form the basis for mechanistic studies in mouse models and 3D cell culture systems.

We aim to 1) identify tumor-derived mediators responsible for tissue loss and dysfunction in cachexia; 2) evaluate the role of the gut microbiota in cachexia; 3) assess smooth muscle dysfunction in cachexia; 4) show the importance of the tumor stroma for the development of cancer cachexia and its link with chemotherapy resistance; 5) develop novel tools for assessing cachexia severity based on connected devices and wearables.

This work involves the development of innovative organoid models of pancreatic cancer and investigation of numerous cachexia-related parameters in patients with pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer or lung cancer to identify common as well as cancer-specific disease drivers.

Next to supervising the research which is done by several PhD students and technicians in my group, I am actively writing research grants and performing various teaching tasks in the Medical and Biomedical Faculty of the Maastricht University.