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Professional Summary

I am fascinated by the potential of omics data for biological discovery. And I have a passion for statistics and machine learning. I am a generalist and easily excited about new ideas and perspectives. In the course of my chemistry education, I focused on computational chemistry and later on bioinformatics. I developed my knowledge of machine learning while working in the fields of metabolomics and cellular image analysis. During my PhD research, I used statistics and pattern recognition to identify factors that shape our immune system in health and disease. In this research project, I gained experience with various types of omics data, including genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics. I was involved in designing several cohort studies, and I am also the designer and research subject of a sophisticated N=1 study. Very recently, I started as a Postdoctoral researcher at the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine in Vienna, Austria.


To make science more accessible to the public, I write blogs for the Dutch National Science Foundation (KNAW) and create vlogs about science.

Work Experience


Post-doctoral researcher @ CeMM

Prof. Dr. Christoph Bock’s Lab, CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria.

Using bulk and single-cell transcriptomics and epigenomics data, I study the complexities of the immune system. In my first project, I am quantifying the contribution of epigenomics to the immune response of hematopoietic cells in a longitudinal cohort of 300 healthy individuals. In future projects, I plan to study the immune regulatory function of the non-hematopoietic, structural cells in the human body. 


PhD student @ Radboudumc

Prof. Dr. Mihai G. Netea’s Lab, Radboud University Medical Centre, Department of Internal Medicine, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

During my PhD, I studied the effects of host and environmental factors on our immune system using large cohorts. One of the most interesting findings was the influence of seasonality on our immune system, which we were able to verify in independent cohorts. I gained experience with several types of omics data, including genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics.


Fulbright scholar @ University of California, San Diego

Prof. Dr. Nathan E. Lewis’ Lab, University of California San Diego, San Diego, United States

I was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to visit the Lewis Lab for 5 months. I used metabolic and whole cell modeling to study the immune system, specifically the difference between strong and weak immune reactions.


Researcher @ Radboudumc

Dr. Richard A. Notebaart's Lab & Prof. Dr. Martijn A. Huynen’s Lab, Radboud University Medical Center, Center for Molecular and Biomolecular Informatics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

I used constraint-based metabolic modeling and statistics to investigate the cellular consequences of mitochondrial disorders and heart failure.


Researcher @ Radboudumc

Prof. Dr. Martijn A. Huynen’s Lab, Centre for Molecular and Biomolecular Informatics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

I worked on various projects, including simulation of centromeric nucleosome loading and evaluating the merit of these models using ChIP-seq data, and studying the signatures of the RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) pathway.



Master of Science in Chemistry @ Radboud University

Master in Chemistry, with a focus on chemical and biological data analysis. I performed a 15 month internship at the Departments of Analytical and Physical Chemistry. I conducted NMR measurements of the blood of rat models of multiple sclerosis. I compared the resulting spectra with those of healthy mice using machine learning. Judicium: summa cum laude, ~top 2%


Intern @ Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

I was awarded a Nuffic Talent Scholarship to visit the lab of Anne E. Carpenter at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT for 6 months. I evaluated which computational methods perform best when profiling morphological cellular images.


Bachelor of Science in Chemistry @ Radboud University

Bachelor in Chemistry, with a focus on chemical and biological data analysis. I performed an internship at the Department of Analytical Chemistry, where I evaluated different implementations of ANOVA-PCA to build a diagnostic model of Multiple Sclerosis based on proteomics data. Judicium: summa cum laude, ~top 2%


I love data analysis in all ways, shapes and forms: I use it for my work and my hobbies. One of my hobbies is collecting and analysing data about myself. If you want to know more, check out my Youtube channel "The Quantified Scientist".

I also enjoy hiking, playing vinyl records, cycling and weight lifting.


R (programming language)   Python     Matlab    Bioinformatics 
Adobe Creative Cloud 
   Science communication    Design   


        Selected Publications

        *Shared 1st authorship 

  1. 2020 Begoña Dobon*, Rob ter Horst*, Hafid Laayouni, Mayukh Mondal, Erica Bianco, David Comas, Mihai Ioana, Elena Bosch, Jaume Bertranpetit, Mihai G. Netea. “The shaping of immunological responses through natural selection after the Roma diaspora”. Scientific Reports, In Press 
    Summary: We identified under recent selection several pathways implicated in immune responses in the Roma population, the largest transnational ethnic minority in Europe and it can be considered the last human migration of South Asian origin into the continent. I was responsible for the immunological data analysis.

  2. 2020 Rob ter Horst*, Inge CL van den Munckhof*, Kiki Schraa, Raul Aguirre-Gamboa, …, Yang Li, Leo AB Joosten, Joost HW Rutten, Mihai G Netea, Niels P Riksen. “Sex-Specific Regulation of Inflammation and Metabolic Syndrome in Obesity.” Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. May;ATVBAHA120314508.
    Summary: We identified new sex-specific pathways that influence inflammation in obesity. I was responsible for the data analysis and statistics.

  3. 2016. Rob ter Horst*, Martin Jaeger*, Sanne P. Smeekens,..., Jos W. M. van der Meer, Charles A. Dinarello, Norman Pavelka, Cisca Wijmenga, Richard A. Notebaart, Leo A. B. Joosten, and Mihai G. Netea. “Host and Environmental Factors Influencing Individual Human Cytokine Responses.” Cell 167(4):1111-1124.e13.
    Summary: We characterized the contributions of host and environmental factors to a comprehensive set of immune parameters. Interestingly, seasonality was one of the most important factors influencing the immune response. I was responsible for the data analysis and also made and designed the cover of this issue of “Cell”.

    Publications Contributed to Extensively

  4. 2020 Jelle Zwaag*, Rob ter Horst*, Ivana Blaženović, Daniel Stoessel, Jacqueline Ratter, Josephine M. Worseck, Nicolas Schauer, Rienke Stienstra, Mihai G. Netea, Dieter Jahn, Peter Pickkers, Matthijs Kox. “Involvement of Lactate and Pyruvate in the Anti-Inflammatory Effects Exerted by Voluntary Activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System.” Metabolites; 2020 Apr;10(4).

  5. 2020. Charlotte D.C.C. van der Heijden, Rob ter Horst, Inge C.L. van den Munckhof, Kiki L. Schraa, Jacqueline de Graaf, Leo A.B. Joosten, Jan A.H. Danser, Mihai G. Netea, Jaap Deinum, Joost Rutten, Niels P. Riksen. “Vasculometabolic and Inflammatory Effects of Aldosterone in Obesity.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Aug 1;105(8):dgaa356.

  6. 2017. Jorge Dominguez-Andres, Rob J. W. Arts, Rob ter Horst, Mark S. Gresnigt, Sanne P. Smeekens, Jacqueline M. Ratter, Ekta Lachmandas, Lily Boutens, Frank L. van de Veerdonk, Leo A. B. Joosten, Richard A. Notebaart, Carlos Ardavin, and Mihai G. Netea. “Rewiring Monocyte Glucose Metabolism via C-Type Lectin Signaling Protects against Disseminated Candidiasis.” PLoS Pathogens 13(9):e1006632.

  7. 2016. Rob J. W. Arts, Boris Novakovic, Rob ter Horst, ... , Luke A. O’Neill, Charles A. Dinarello, Niels P. Riksen, Reinout van Crevel, Clary Clish, Richard A. Notebaart, Leo A. B. Joosten, Hendrik G. Stunnenberg, Ramnik J. Xavier, and Mihai G. Netea. “Glutaminolysis and Fumarate Accumulation Integrate Immunometabolic and Epigenetic Programs in Trained Immunity.” Cell Metabolism 24(6):807–19.

  8. 2016. Marije Oosting*, Mariska Kerstholt*, Rob ter Horst, Yang Li, Patrick Deelen, ..., Mihai G. Netea, and Leo A. B. Joosten. “Functional and Genomic Architecture of Borrelia Burgdorferi-Induced Cytokine Responses in Humans.” Cell Host & Microbe 20(6):822–33.

  9. 2013. Vebjorn Ljosa, Peter D. Caie, Rob ter Horst, Katherine L. Sokolnicki, ... , Neil O. Carragher, and Anne E. Carpenter. “Comparison of Methods for Image-Based Profiling of Cellular Morphological Responses to Small-Molecule Treatment.” Journal of Biomolecular Screening 18:1321–29.

    Additional Publications from Collaborative Research

  10. 2020. Namam Ali, Anna WM Janssen, Alain J. van Gool, Wouter van der Heijden, Rob ter Horst, Martin Jaeger, Leo AB Joosten, Mihai G Netea, Rinke Stienstra, Priya Vart, Lisa Van de Wijer, Bastiaan E De Galan, Cees J Tack, “Limited impact of impaired awareness of hypoglycemia and severe hypoglycemia on inflammatory profile in subjects with type 1 diabetes”. Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, In Press.

  11. 2020. Ombretta Melaiu, Angelica Macauda, Juan Sainz, Diego Calvetti, Maria Sole Facioni, Giuseppe Maccari, Rob ter Horst, Mihai G. Netea, Yang Li, , …, Stefano Landi, Daniele Campa, Federico Canzian, Federica Gemignani, “Common gene variants within 3’untranslated regions as modulators of multiple myeloma risk and survival”. The International Journal of Cancer, In Press

  12. 2020. Lianmin Chen, Inge C. L. van den Munckhof, Kiki Schraa, Rob ter Horst, Martijn Koehorst, ..., Niels P. Riksen, Joost H. W. Rutten, Leo A. B. Joosten, Cisca Wijmenga, Alexandra Zhernakova, Mihai G. Netea, Jingyuan Fu and Folkert Kuipers. “Genetic and microbial associations to plasma and fecal bile acids in obese humans relate to plasma lipids and liver fat content”, Cell Reports, In Press

  13. 2020. Lorenzo Bonaguro, Maren Koehne, Lisa Schmidleithner, Stefanie Warnat-Herresthal, ..., Rob ter Horst, Martin Jaeger, Souad Rahmouni, Michel Georges, Christine Falk, Yang Li, Elvira Mass, Marc Beyer, Leo A. B. Joosten, Mihai G. Netea, Thomas Ulas, Joachim L. Schultze, Anna C. Aschenbrenner. “CRELD1 modulates homeostasis of the immune system in mouse and human.” Nature Immunology, In Press

  14. 2020. Josè Maldonado, Daniele Campa, Jan Springer, Jon Badiola, Yasmeen Niazi, Ana Moñiz-Díez, Francisca Hernández-Mohedo, Pedro González-Sierra, Rob ter Horst, …, Charles Dumontet, Federico Canzian, Asta Försti, Manuel Jurado, and Juan Sainz “Host immune genetic variations influence the risk of developing acute myeloid leukaemia: Results from the NuCLEAR consortium”, Blood Cancer Journal 10 (7)

  15. 2020 Jose M. Sánchez-Maldonado, Manuel Martínez-Bueno, Helena Canhão, Rob ter Horst, Sonia Muñoz-Peña, Ana Moñiz-Díez, ..., Marieke J.H. Coenen, Vibeke Andersen, Rafael Cáliz, Juan Sainz. “NFKB2 polymorphisms associate with the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis and response to TNF inhibitors: Results from the REPAIR consortium.” Sci Rep. 2020 Mar;10(1):4316.

  16. 2020 Samuel M. Gonçalves, Cláudio Duarte-Oliveira, Cláudia Campos, Vishukumar Aimanianda, Rob ter Horst, ..., Mihai Netea, Jean-Paul Latgé, Cristina Cunha, Agostinho Carvalho. “Phagosomal removal of fungal melanin reprograms macrophage metabolism to promote antifungal immunity.” Nat Commun. 2020;11(1).

  17. 2019. Jose M. Sánchez-Maldonado, Rafael Cáliz, Luz Canet, Rob ter Horst, Olivier Bakker, …, João E. Fonseca, Mihai G. Netea, Marieke J. H. Coenen, Juan Sainz “Steroid hormone-related polymorphisms associate with the development of bone erosions in rheumatoid arthritis and help to predict disease progression: Results from the REPAIR consortium.” Sci Rep. Oct 15;9(1):14812.

  18. 2019. Jorge Dominguez-Andres, Boris Novakovic, Yang Li, ... , Rob ter Horst, Leo A. B. Joosten, Cisca Wijmenga, Alessandro Michelucci, Tom van der Poll, Matthijs Kox, Peter Pickkers, Vinod Kumar, Henk Stunnenberg, and Mihai G. Netea. “The Itaconate Pathway Is a Central Regulatory Node Linking Innate Immune Tolerance and Trained Immunity.” Cell Metabolism 29(1):211-220.e5.

  19. 2019. Ruud P. H. Raijmakers, Anne F. M. Jansen, Stephan P. Keijmel, Rob ter Horst, Megan E. Roerink, Boris Novakovic, Leo A. B. Joosten, Jos W. M. van der Meer, Mihai G. Netea, and Chantal P. Bleeker-Rovers. “A Possible Role for Mitochondrial-Derived Peptides Humanin and MOTS-c in Patients with Q Fever Fatigue Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” Journal of Translational Medicine 17(1):157.

  20. 2019. Inge Grondman, Rob J. W. Arts, Rebecca M. Koch, Guus P. Leijte, Jelle Gerretsen, Niklas Bruse, Rosalie W. M. Kempkes, Rob ter Horst, Matthijs Kox, Peter Pickkers, Mihai G. Netea, and Mark S. Gresnigt. “Frontline Science: Endotoxin-Induced Immunotolerance Is Associated with Loss of Monocyte Metabolic Plasticity and Reduction of Oxidative Burst.” Journal of Leukocyte Biology 106(1):11–25.

  21. 2019. Ruud P.H. Raijmakers, John Stenos, Stephan P. Keijmel, Rob ter Horst, …, Jos W. Van Der Meer, Mihai G. Netea, Chantal P. Bleeker-Rovers, Leo A.B. Joosten, Stephen R. Graves. “Long-Lasting Transcriptional Changes in Circulating Monocytes of Acute Q Fever Patients.” Open Forum Infect Dis. Jul 1;6(7).

  22. 2019. Arjan van Laarhoven, Sofiati Dian, Suzanne van Dorp, ... , Rob ter Horst, Mihai G. Netea, ... , Ayesha Verrall, Ahmad Rizal Ganiem, Reinout van Crevel. “Immune Cell Characteristics and Cytokine Responses in Adult HIV-Negative Tuberculous Meningitis: An Observational Cohort Study.” Scientific Reports 9(1):884.

  23. 2018. Siroon Bekkering, Rob J. W. Arts, Boris Novakovic, Ioannis Kourtzelis, ..., Rob ter Horst, Julia van Tuijl, Romana T. Netea-Maier, Frank L. van de Veerdonk, Triantafyllos Chavakis, Leo A. B. Joosten, Jos W. M. van der Meer, Henk Stunnenberg, Niels P. Riksen, and Mihai G. Netea. “Metabolic Induction of Trained Immunity through the Mevalonate Pathway.” Cell, 2018 Jan 11;172(1-2):135-146.e9.

  24. 2018. Rineke Steenbergen, Martin Oti, Rob ter Horst, Wilson Tat, …, Woo Jung Cho, Michael Joyce, Bas E. Dutilh, and D. Lorne Tyrrell. “Establishing Normal Metabolism and Differentiation in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells by Culturing in Adult Human Serum.” Scientific Reports 8(1):11685.

  25. 2018. Melissa A. Ilardo, Ida Moltke, Thorfinn S. Korneliussen, Jade Cheng, ... , Rob ter Horst, Leo A. B. Joosten, Mihai G. Netea, Suhartini Salingkat, Rasmus Nielsen, and Eske Willerslev. “Physiological and Genetic Adaptations to Diving in Sea Nomads.” Cell 173(3):569-580.e15.

  26. 2016. Mihai G. Netea, Leo A. B. Joosten, Yang Li, Vinod Kumar, Marije Oosting, Sanne Smeekens, Martin Jaeger, Rob ter Horst, Melanie Schirmer, ... , Curtis Huttenhouwer, Hans Koenen, Irma Joosten, Ramnik J. Xavier, and Cisca Wijmenga. “Understanding Human Immune Function Using the Resources from the Human Functional Genomics Project.” Nature Medicine, 2016 Aug 4;22(8):831-3

  27. 2016. Melanie Schirmer, Sanne P. Smeekens, Hera Vlamakis, Martin Jaeger, Marije Oosting, Eric A. Franzosa, Rob ter Horst, ..., Cisca Wijmenga, Mihai G. Netea, and Ramnik J. Xavier. “Linking the Human Gut Microbiome to Inflammatory Cytokine Production Capacity.” Cell. 2016 Dec 15;167(7):1897.

  28. 2015. Robin van der Lee, Qian Feng, Martijn A. Langereis, Rob ter Horst, Radek Szklarczyk, Mihai G. Netea, Arno C. Andeweg, Frank J. M. van Kuppeveld, and Martijn A. Huynen. “Integrative Genomics-Based Discovery of Novel Regulators of the Innate Antiviral Response.” PLoS Computational Biology 11(10):e1004553.

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