Life Sciences Seminar: Functional screening of patient-derived organoids using high content imaging

Cancer, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology


Master's programme-related seminar organised by Cancer, Stem Cells and Deverlopmental Biology and the GSLS.


Bram Herpers, PhD. Executive Director & General Manager at Crown Bioscience Netherlands B.V. 

Bram studied Biology at Wageningen University. He obtained his PhD at Utrecht University, with a focus on microscopy and molecular and cell biology. During his postdoc at the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research he developed multiple (live cell) imaging techniques for high throughput screening. In 2013 he switched from academia to business and joined OcellO, founded as a spin-off from Leiden University. Bram continued to develop 3D assays, organoid culture techniques and image analysis pipelines in the role of COO and helped to grow the business from 4 to >50 employees. In 2021 OcellO was acquired by Crown Bioscience. Their NL research team delivers relevant preclinical data to drug developers using 3D cell culture and high content screening technologies in organoid models, ex vivo patient tissue and in the immuno-oncology space.


Patient-derived organoids (PDOs) are established by stimulating the maintenance and proliferation of (cancer) stem cells with WNT pathway activators and receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) agonists in an extracellular matrix environment. In the presentation I will describe how we developed a service that offers a living biobank of organoid models for testing of compounds and other types of novel anti-cancer agents using 3D image-based screening. I’ll highlight the successful development of a dual-targeting (RTKxWNT) bispecific antibody in a diverse panel or (metastatic) colorectal cancer organoids and (matched) normal organoid models. I’ll also cover the developments we, first as OcellO and currently as Crown Bioscience Netherlands, went through in the first 10 years of the company, and which steps we took to expand our portfolio of services and which personal growth opportunities this provided.


After the seminar there will be drinks in the hall of the Ruppert building from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Come and join the drinks to network with fellow Life Sciences students!

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A registration link will be shared during the seminar via QR-code.