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The Department's buildings are currently open for wet laboratory work only. We have carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and have introduced a number of new measures to ensure the safety of our staff, including reduced building occupancy, strict social distancing, 'family'-based working, and increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. All staff who can work remotely will do so for the foreseeable future. Please continue to contact us by email until further notice.

Department of Biochemistry


Thomas Foets

PhD student
Cambridge Cancer Centre PhD Scholarship

Joined the lab: October 2014

Background and Current Project: I completed my undergraduate degree in medicine at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. After receiving my B.Sc. in 2013, I investigated the role of K-ras in calcium signalling in colorectal cancer under supervision of Dr. Llewelyn Roderick at the Babraham Institute of the University of Cambridge on a BBSRC scholarship. In 2014, I joined the De la Roche laboratory to investigate the role of Wnt signalling inhibition on tumour effector functions in APC-mutated cell lines for which I graduated with a Master of Philosophy in Biological Science. I was elected a Cambridge Cancer Centre PhD scholar in 2015 to further investigate the role of Wnt signalling inhibition, specifically in human colorectal cancer organoids. Through my graduate studies, I hope to advance treatment strategies for the second most common cause of death amongst cancer patients.

Interests: I am a weightlifter and was founder of an international non-profit organisation (



Pierro C, Cook SJ, Foets TC, Bootman MD, Roderick HL. Oncogenic K-Ras suppresses IP₃-dependent Ca²⁺ release through remodelling of the isoform composition of IP₃Rs and ER luminal Ca²⁺ levels in colorectal cancer cell lines. J Cell Sci. 2014 Apr 1;127(Pt 7):1607-19. Abstract

[2] Foets TC, Weusten BL, van Es HW, Boerma D. An 84 year old man with gastric outlet obstruction. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2014. Abstract
[3] Foets TCF. Expanded Access to Non-FDA-Approved Medication in Response to a Future Epidemic [abbreviated paper for general academic audience]. Student Research Conference Proceedings, November 2014.



Contact details

Research Group Leader  Marc de la Roche​


Location  Sanger Building


The de la Roche Group is accepting enquiries from prospective interns, undergraduate students, postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers.