Global Investor Forum Contact

Peter de Keizer

Group Leader “Senescence in Cancer and Aging”, UMC Utrecht


14:15 - 15:25 hours
From research to innovation

Peter de Keizer received his PhD from Utrecht University Medical Center in 2009 for his work on FOXO transcription factors in tumor suppression. He received his postdoctoral training at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, CA, USA on the molecular hallmarks of cellular senescence for which in 2010, he was elected as a fellow of the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF). In 2012 he joined the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam where in 2014 he was awarded the prestigious “Talent Extraordinary Award” and is currently a group leader in “Senescence in Cancer in Aging”

His research focusses on targeting the deleterious role of senescent cells. Senescence has been causally linked to age-related diseases, including cancer progression and therapy resistance. He designed a cell penetrating peptide, called FOXO4-DRI or Proxofim, which selectively eliminates senescent cells and thereby can counter signs of chemotoxicity and aging in mice. This work was published in Cell in March 2017 and received numerous exposure worldwide, including coverage in TV shows and radio programs. His current focus lies on further optimizing this peptide and assessing the potential benefit such compounds may have on late stage cancer and specific age-related diseases. His aim is to take an active stance in promoting clinical translation when the results prove to be fruitful.


Targeting Senescence Against aging and Cancer
Senescent cells are a cause for certain aspects of aging and can confer resistance of cancer cells to therapy. As we showed recently (Baar et al, 2017, Cell), FOXO4 is a pivot in the maintenance of senescent cells viability and targeting the FOXO4-p53 pathway with specific peptides can result in health benefits in aging mice. Our goal is to improve these compounds to eventually be ready for human translation, specifically against lethal types of cancer.
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