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Research Department of Genetics Staff
University Medical Center Groningen

Helga Westers, PhD

Teaching coordinator and Educational committee head, Researcher in the Development and Innovation Section
Dr Helga Westers
Dr Helga Westers

Study: Molecular Biology at the University of Groningen, graduated cum laude.

PhD thesis: Genome engineering and protein secretion stress in the BACELL factory, 2004, Pharmaceutical Biology Department, University of Groningen.

Personal key words: Perfectionist, optimist, humorous, honest, team player

Email: H.Westers


I am the teaching coordinator for the Genetics department and head of our Educational committee. Since April 2017 I have also been a member of the Board of Examiners Dentistry & Medicine. In March 2018 I obtained my Senior Qualification Teaching (STQ) Diploma.

I am involved in teaching Genetics in several Bachelor and Master courses in Biology, Life Science and Technology, and Medicine, and I am passionate about developing new educational tasks and courses. I like to innovate in education by setting up e-learning tools and games. My current focus is on the development of a virtual clinic for education purposes.

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I am an researcher in the Department’s Development and Innovation section. I started working in the Genetics department in 2007 and have worked mainly on the genetics of Lynch syndrome ever since. My current focus is on developing new techniques to detect low levels of microsatellite instability, which is the hallmark of Lynch syndrome. Furthermore, I am broadening my focus and work on enhancer detection to expand our DNA diagnostics to these regions. We often host students for an internship in our research group and I am co-promoter of PhD students. I really enjoy working with young researchers and showing them how great it is to explore science.

Key words: Lynch syndrome, MSI, Mismatch repair, oncogenetics, gene sequencing panels

Recent publications

Last modified:07 February 2020 3.06 p.m.