Bothma: Dynamics of transcription

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The Bothma group investigates how noncoding regions of the genome control gene expression in development by imaging transcription with single molecule resolution in real time.

How a single embryonic cell interprets its genome to give rise to the many diverse cell types that build an animal is one of nature’s enduring mysteries. Unravelling it promises to not only yield new insights into disorders of development and cancer, but also reveal the organizing principles of life. Even though we have uncovered all the regulatory factors and noncoding regions of the genome involved in specifying cell identity, we still don’t understand how these all come together to build an animal. One of the main reasons why this knowledge gap persisted is because until now we could not visualize a key degree of freedom – time.

Key publicationsView all publications

Cell 173(7): 181-1822


eLIFE: e07956


PNAS 111(29): 10598-10603


Current Biology 21(18): 1571–1577


Group leader

Jacques Bothma

Jacques Bothma started his scientific career in Australia, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Queensland. He then decided to switch to Biology and pursued his PhD in Biophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, with Mike Levine. Here he uncovered genetic mechanisms for the robust and coordinated deployment of gene expression in development. He then stayed at Berkeley for his postdoc where he pioneered new quantitative live imaging approaches to visualize transcription and gene regulatory networks in embryos in the lab of Hernan Garcia. He started his group at the Hubrecht Institute at the end of 2019 where he now studies how noncoding parts of the genome control gene expression in development and disease using cutting edge live imaging techniques and quantitative approaches.

Group members

Jacques Bothma

Group Leader

Rianne Grond


Jesse Brunsveld


Anthony Birnie


Emilia Cadar

PhD Student

Audrey Plat

PhD Student

Cemil Korkmaz

PhD Student

Rick Marsman


Eirini Daskalaki


Leah Gaspari


Show all group members


Period Current Position
Sjak van Grootel 2022-2022 Bachelors Student HBO
Anika van der Zant 2021-2022 Masters Student in MCLS at Utrecht University
Ilse van Tol 2021-2022 Bachelors Student HBO
Esmée Arents 2021-2022 Clinical Trail administrator EUPG/Ecraid
Yoav Vaizman 2021-2022 Masters Student
Defne Yalcin 2021-2022 Masters Student in CSND at Utrecht University
Koen Schuddemat 2019-2021 Masters Student in Biotechnology at Wageningen Univeristy & Research
Nathalie van Rijn 2021-2021 Bachelors student HBO
Amber Öztop 2021-2021 PhD student UU – Agathe Chaigne lab
Jochem Boeter 2020-2021 Software Developer at GenDx
Martin Schepers 2020-2021 Masters Student in Bioinformatics at Hanze University Groningen



We are currently recruiting enthusiastic, motivated people who are interested in working on exciting problems as part of a multidisciplinary team. We are interested in applicants from a broad range of backgrounds including, but not limited to, Biophysics, Developmental Biology, Cell Biology and Physics. If you are interested in learning more about the available position(s) in the lab, please send an email to Jacques Bothma, including a CV (with grades), a cover letter and names and contact information of 3 references.