Paul Coffer studied Biochemistry at Oxford University. In 1991 he obtained his PhD from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in London, UK. Here, in the lab of Prof. James Woodgett, he identified Protein Kinase B (PKB/c-akt), a novel player in intracellular signal transduction. He subsequently relocated to the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, The Netherlands. This postdoctoral research was involved in investigating the mechanisms by which hematopoietic cytokines can regulate gene expression through transcription factor phosphorylation. Hereafter he moved to the Department of Respiratory Medicine at the University Medical Centre Utrecht to initiate his own research group. During this period, work focused on studying the role of intracellular signal transduction pathways in regulating both the production and function of leukocytes.
In 2005 Paul Coffer was appointed Professor of Pediatric Immunology at the University Medical Centre Utrecht and moved to the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital where he worked within the Department of Immunology. Here research was expanded to include study not only of hematopoietic stem cell function, but also mesenchymal stem cells. Furthermore, a new research line investigating the control of regulatory T cell (Treg) function was initiated. In 2011 he moved to the Department of Cell Biology at the University Medical Center Utrecht where he was appointed Professor of Stem Cell Biology. Current work in his research group is focused on applying this fundamental research to the study of cancer, autoimmunity and regenerative medicine. From 2013-2014 worked at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, USA) as a visiting professor in the Rudensky Lab. From 2016 the Coffer Lab relocated to the Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht where work continues to understand transcriptional regulation in cell biology and disease.