lab_members

Group leader


Prof. Dr. Jan Tavernier
Prof. Dr. Jan Tavernier

Jan Tavernier founded the CRL in 1996. He obtained his PhD in 1984 in the early days of recombinant DNA on the cloning of several interferon and interleukin genes. In the same year he moved to industry, first Biogen, later Roche, where he continued research on cytokines and cytokine receptors. He became full professor at Ghent University in 1996 and currently heads the CRL as part of the VIB Department of Medical Protein Research.

 


Staff scientists


Prof. Dr. Frank Peelman
Prof. Dr. Frank Peelman

After graduating as a biologist in 1993, Frank Peelman obtained his PhD in 1999 on the structure-function relationships of lecithin:cholesterolacyltransferase at the Biochemistry department of Ghent University. In 2002, he joined the CRL on a project investigating the properties of leptin binding to its receptor. In 2006 he became a full professor at Ghent University, and his current research focuses on the molecular dissection of protein-protein interactions by combining MAPPIT and molecular modeling.

 


Prof. Dr. Sven Eyckerman
Prof. Dr. Sven Eyckerman

Sven Eyckerman started his career in the group working on leptin receptor signaling and on the MAPPIT platform. After his PhD he went for a postdoc at ISREC in Lausanne where he worked on components of the Wnt pathway and their role in colon cancer. He then joined Pronota, a spin-off company of the department, to support and manage different biomarker discovery programs. He returned to the department to work on the interface between CRL and the proteomics group headed by Kris Gevaert (www.proteomics.be). He is now focusing on novel technologies for signal transduction research.


Prof. Dr. Karolien De Bosscher
Prof. Dr. Karolien De Bosscher

Karolien De Bosscher has a long-standing focus on nuclear receptors in the context of anti-inflammatory action mechanisms (GR, PPARs). She obtained her PhD at UGent on the molecular mechanisms of glucocorticoids in 2000, after which she went to Cancer Research UK in London with an EMBO long-term fellowship to study TGFβ-signaling pathways. From 2003 to 2010 she coordinated nuclear receptor research at the UGent LEGEST lab, supported by an FWO postdoctoral fellowship. In 2007, she won the PFIZER Prize and in 2012 she received not only the Prize of the Academy for Fundamental Research in Medicine but was also honored with the Belgian Endocrine Society Lecture Award, sponsored by NOVO NORDISK, for outstanding achievements in the field of endocrinology. She currently guides the Nuclear Receptor Signaling Unit at the UGent-VIB departments of biochemistry and medical protein research and holds a full professorship (BOF-ZAP) at the medicine faculty of UGent.


Prof. Dr. Sarah Gerlo
Prof. Dr. Sarah Gerlo

Sarah Gerlo obtained her PhD in 2005 at the Lab of Neuroendocrine Immune Interactions of the Free University of Brussels (VUB), with a study on the regulation of prolactin expression in leukocytes. After her PhD, she moved to Gent, where she obtained an FWO postdoctoral fellowhip at the UGent LEGEST lab to study molecular crosstalk between GPCR signals and the NF-κB cascade. Since the 1st of February 2011, Sarah has been appointed in a tenure track position at the CRL, where she will start a new research line on the connection between endoplasmic reticulum stress, inflammation and metabolic disease. This project is embedded within the framework of the UGent GROUP-ID (Ghent Researchers on Unfolded Proteins in Inflammatory Disease) consortium.


Postdoctoral researchers


Dr. Irma Lemmens
Dr. Irma Lemmens

Irma Lemmens graduated as a chemist with specialisms biochemistry and human genetics at the University of Nijmegen in 1995. In 2000 she obtained a PhD in Medical Science on the identification of the MEN1 gene by positional cloning and the characterization of its protein product menin by identifying binding partners using the yeast two-hybrid method, at the Center of Human Genetics of the University of Leuven. In 2000 she joined the CRL to participate in the development of the MAPPIT technology platform and the study of cytokine receptor signalisation. As an FWO funded post-doc she is currently involved in the validation of interactome maps (in close collaboration with the CCSB, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston) and the study of cytokine receptor signalling.

 


Dr. Leander Huyghe
Dr. Leander Huyghe

After graduating as biotechnologist in 2002, Leander Huyghe obtained his PhD in 2008 by studying the mechanism behind the antitumor activities of TNF and IFN-gamma in Peter Brouckaert’s lab at UGent. As a postdoc he continued his research on the effects of TNF on tumor vasculature aiming to develop safer TNF-based cancer therapies. In 2014 Leander joined the CRL to work on TNF AcTakines, another approach to detoxify TNF.


Dr. Joris Wauman
Dr. Joris Wauman

After doing his undergraduate thesis at the CRL in the last year of his biomedical sciences studies, Joris Wauman stayed attached to the CRL to start an FWO-funded PhD in 2004 on leptin signalling and leptin resistance. He obtained his PhD in 2011.

 


Dr. Alexander Van Parys
Dr. Alexander Van Parys

Alexander Van Parys graduated as a Biologist (option Zoology) at UGent in 2006. Subsequently, he obtained a master in Molecular Medical Biotechnology at UGent in 2007. In 2012, he finalized his PhD at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine after studying the molecular mechanisms underlying long-term Salmonella persistence in pigs. He then changed focus from veterinary to human biomedical sciences and worked for 3 years as a doctoral assistant at the University Hospital Gent. During this period, he performed research concerning the development of an immunotherapy, based on chimeric antigen receptors (CARs), to tackle chronic Hepatitis B infection in humans. Since April 2017, he is a member of the AcTakine group at the Cytokine Receptor Lab, mainly focussing on the validation of the AcTakine concept in mice with a humanized immune system (HIS mice).


Predoctoral researchers


Laura Van Moortel
Laura Van Moortel

Laura Van Moortel graduated as a Master in Biomedical Sciences at Ghent University in 2016. She worked in the lab of Prof. Dr. Karolien De Bosscher during her master thesis and decided to stay for her PhD. Her project focuses on the search for alternative ligands of the glucocorticoid receptor in order to reduce the number of side effects when compared with typical exogenous ligands (popularly known as ‘cortisone’).

 

 


Bram Van Den Eeckhout
Bram Van Den Eeckhout

Bram Van Den Eeckhout graduated in Biomedical Sciences at Ghent University in 2015. He joined the CRL in October 2015 and started an FWO/SB-funded PhD project in the group of Prof. Dr. Sarah Gerlo. The aim of this project, which is part of the AcTakine pipeline in the lab, is to construct IL-1b AcTakines (“AcTaleukins”) and explore their therapeutic potential as adjuvants in cancer vaccination without eliciting toxicity.


Stefanie Maes
Stefanie Maes

Stefanie graduated in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Ghent University in 2016, after which she started her project, funded by an FWO SB grant, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Frank Peelman. During her PhD she will develop and optimize a new method that allows faster mapping of protein-protein interactions. This method will be applied on proteins involved in cancer.

 


Sofie Desmet
Sofie Desmet

Sofie Desmet graduated in Biomedical Sciences at Ghent University in 2012 and joined the group of Prof. Karolien De Bosscher to start an FWO funded PhD. During this project she will study the transcriptional cross-talk between PPARα and other nuclear receptors.

 

 


Laurens Vyncke
Laurens Vyncke

Laurens Vyncke graduated in industrial engineering biochemistry at HOWEST in Kortrijk in 2012. His PhD project aims at gaining a better understanding of the TLR4 pathway, mainly by finding the interaction sites of the TLR4-MAL-MyD88 complex and the TLR4-TRAM-TRIF complex by using random mutagenesis and MAPPIT.

 

 


Julie Deckers
Julie Deckers

Julie Deckers graduated in 2011 at KULeuven where she studied Biomedical Sciences. In August 2011, she joined the group of Prof. Dr. Karolien De Bosscher to start a PhD. During her project she will investigate the immune regulating role of PPAR- and GR-agonists in the house dust mite model of asthma through collaboration with the Department of Respiratory Diseases, under supervision of Prof. Dr. Hamida Hammad.


Delphine Masschaele
Delphine Masschaele

Delphine graduated in biomedical sciences at Ghent University in 2010. Her PhD project focuses on the function of the ring finger RNF41 on receptor signalling, degradation and shedding.


Raffaele Mori
Raffaele Mori

After graduating in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in 2008 at the University of Perugia (Italy), Raffaele Mori was enrolled at the Research Preparatory Course in Cell and Molecular Biology at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm (Sweden) from September 2009 till July 2010. In that period he has been working on how nuclear actin and myosin mediate the crosstalk between RNA polymerase and chromatin structure modifications during gene transcription. From November 2010 on he joined the CRL as PhD student. He is involved in a project studying the JAK/STAT signaling pathway, particularly focusing on the mechanisms controlling the regulation of STAT3 transcription and the modulation of the protein's activity.


Technical staff


Elianne Burg
Elianne Burg

After obtaining a bachelors degree in Biology and Medical Laboratory Research in 2009, Elianne Burg worked at the University of Vermont (USA) as a lab technician for 6 years. She joined the CRL in 2014, focusing mainly on the IL-1β AcTakine project. 


Jonathan Thommis
Jonathan Thommis

Jonathan Thommis graduated as a Bachelor in Biomedical Lab Technology in 2009. After working for a year at the Centrum voor Moleculaire Diagnostiek at the Jessa Ziekenhuis in Hasselt, he moved to the city of Ghent. Before recently joining the group of Karolien De Bosscher at the Cytokine Receptor Lab, he worked for two years at the lab of LEGEST at the UGent. When not indulging in a small comic book addiction he likes to enjoy the small things in life with his friends.

 

 


Steffi De Rouck
Steffi De Rouck

Steffi De Rouck joined the CRL after obtaining a degree of Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in 2011. She is involved in supporting the MAPPIT-based large-scale interactomics projects.


Anne-Sophie De Smet
Anne-Sophie De Smet

Anne-Sophie De Smet joined the CRL in 2005, after graduating as a lab technician. She is mainly supporting the various MAPPIT-based interactomics projects ongoing in the lab.

 


Annick Verhee
Annick Verhee

After getting a degree as a lab technician in 1989, Annick Verhee worked at Roche Research Ghent for 7 years. She joined the CRL at its startup in 1996. She is involved in many different projects ongoing at the CRL, currently focusing on the application of MAPPIT in a collaboration project on virology.

 


Dominiek Catteeuw
Dominiek Catteeuw

Dominiek Catteeuw obtained his degree as a lab technician in 2001 and started working at the CRL the same year. Currently, he mainly supports the research programs on leptin and leptin receptor antagonism.

 


Nele Vanderroost
Nele Vanderroost

Nele Vanderroost obtained a technical bachelor in biotechnology in 2005 and joined the CRL the same year. She supports the development of the MAPPIT technology platform.

 


Elien Ruyssinck
Elien Ruyssinck

Elien Ruyssinck joined the CRL after graduating as a technical bachelor in biomedical sciences in 2008. She is mainly involved in supporting the development of the MAPPIT platform.

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Dieter Defever
Dieter Defever

Dieter Defever graduated in 2001. He gained experience in several labs at Ghent University both at the Faculty of Medicine (Prof. Anne De Paepe), the Veterinary Faculty (Prof. Hans Nauwynck) and the Faculty of Sciences (the VIB team of Dr. Chris Marine). He joined the CRL in 2009 where he is mainly involved in expanding the MAPPIT platform.


Previous members of CRL


Mieke Delvaeye - inspector blood & human body material at FAGG (Brussels)

Celia Bovijn - post-doc at the University of California (San Francisco, US)

Dany Broekaert - professor at the Department of Medical Protein Research of Ghent University/VIB, retired

Jennyfer Bultinck - scenior scientist at Oxyrane (Ghent)

Delphine Defeau - lab technician, left the science field

Gertie De Neve - lab technician, left the science field

Viola Gesellchen - scientist at Complix (Ghent)

Laura Icardi - post-doc at Ospedale San Raffaele (Milan, Italy)

Hannes Iserentant - invention analyst at VIB (Ghent)

Delphine Lavens - R&D manager at Biover-Omega Pharma (Nazareth)

Sam Lievens - principal scientist at Orionis Biosciences (Ghent)

Margarida Maia - scientific editor at Cactus Communications (Porto, Portugal)

Tony Montoye - marketing manager at Trinean (Ghent)

Els Pattyn - clinical programmer at Ablynx (Ghent)

Julie Piessevaux - associate manager medical affairs at Gilead Sciences (Diegem)

Sylvie Seeuws - associate project manager at BARC Global Central Laboratory (Ghent)

Liesbeth Schauvliege - oncologist at the City Hospital of Roeselare

Peter Ulrichts - principal scientist at arGEN-X (Ghent)

Isabel Uyttendaele - site compliance network member at Pfizer (Puurs)

Veronique Vandevoorde - staff employee at the Department for Molecular Biomedical Research of Ghent University/VIB

Xaveer Van Ostade - professor at the department of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Antwerp

Els Vertenten - lab technician at Ablynx (Ghent)

Wim Waelput - pathologist at the University Hospital of Antwerp