Bregje van Oorschot was born on November 22th 1987 in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands. After graduating from high school at the Gymnasium ‘t Juvenaat in 2005, she moved to Enschede to study Biomedical Engineering at the University of Twente. Her bachelor internship at the department of Tissue Regeneration, University of Twente in 2009 sparked her interest, besides engineering, in molecular biology and she therefore continued her study with a master in Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Engineering. During her graduation project at the Special Research Laboratory of medical center in Enschede (Medisch Spectrum Twente), she developed a method to screen for specific gene mutations in Acute Myeloid Leukemia patients using High-Resolution Melting analysis. She obtained her Master’s degree in February 2012. After graduation, she pursued her interest in the field of oncology as a PhD candidate in the Laboratory of Experimental Oncology and Radiobiology at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. During her PhD, she investigated the molecular effects of ionizing radiation in several types of cancer and normal tissues. The aim of her research was to sensitize tumors (xenografts) and cancer cells to radiation treatment and to predict sensitivity of both tumour and normal tissues. Finding markers with high predictive power for tumour control and/or severe side effects, will eventually allow patient-tailored treatment. In September 2016, she successfully defended her thesis in Amsterdam.
At this moment, Bregje is working as Diagnostics Manager Oncology at AstraZeneca in the Netherlands and continues to work in the field of patient tailored medicine. New oncology medicines that are being developed are more often aimed at specific groups of patients, introducing the concept of personalized treatment. These precision medicines use biomarkers, such as a gene mutation or differences in protein expression, to identify patients who are likely to benefit the most. With this, diagnostic testing is becoming increasingly important and in her current role she supports the clinical diagnostic market development in The Netherlands. Main focus areas are ovarian cancer, lung cancer and immuno-oncology.