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 Center for Medical Biotechnology. Since 2010, he is a member of the Royal Belgian Academies of Sciences and the Arts. In 2015, he co-founded Orionis Biosciences based on the MAPPIT and AcTakine technologies developed at CRL. In 2018, he featured on the Nature Biotechnology list of world top 20 translational researchers.

 


Staff scientists


Prof. Dr. Anje Cauwels
Prof. Dr. Anje Cauwels

Anje Cauwels obtained her PhD on TNF-induced shock and anti-tumor potential in mice in the lab of Prof. Walter Fiers (UGent) in 1995. She then moved abroad for 2 post-doctoral stays in the labs of Prof. Elaine Tuomanen at Rockefeller University (NY, USA) and of Prof. Werner Zimmerli at the Kantonsspital in Basel, Switzerland. During both post-doctoral stays, she studied meningitis-causing bacteria in vitro and in vivo.
After 4 years abroad, she returned to Belgium as a senior post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Prof. Peter Brouckaert, UGent. In various types of septic and anaphylactic shock, she studied the role of NO/sGC, caspases, apoptosis and necrotic processes and mediators. In 2014, Anje Cauwels joined the Cytokine Receptor Lab (CRL) to set up the in vivo AcTakine work, obtaining proof-of-principle with a type I IFN-based AcTaferon as a potent and safe anti-tumor treatment. In addition to several different tumor models, she is also introducing various autoimmune models in mice.


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 a 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.

 


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.

 


Postdoctoral researchers


Dr. Joris Wauman
Dr. Joris Wauman

Joris Wauman graduated in Biomedical Sciences at Ghent University in 2004 after completing his undergraduate thesis at CRL. He started an FWO-funded PhD project on cytokine receptor signaling with a specific focus on the leptin receptor. Using the in-house developed MAPPIT technology, new interaction partners (including IRS4, RNF41 and SOCS6) of the leptin receptor were identified, further validated and functionally characterized. After obtaining his PhD in 2011, Joris Wauman continued his research at CRL as a post-doctoral fellow, further investigating the link between the leptin receptor and mitochondrial biology. More recently, Joris started on the AcTakine-project exploring the potential of IL-6 on several metabolic, auto-immune and cancer models.

 


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).


Dr. Sandra Van Lint
Dr. Sandra Van Lint

Sandra Van Lint obtained the certificate Biomedical Laboratory Technology, specialization in Pharmacological and Biological Techniques in 2005. In 2007, she graduated as a master in the Industrial Sciences, specialization Biochemistry after which she started her scientific career at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). In 2014, she obtained a PhD in Medical sciences with a focus on the use of mRNA as an immunotherapeutic and medicinal product in the treatment of cancer. In 2015, she joined the AcTakine team of the Cytokine Receptor Lab as a Post-doc to further continue and explore her interest in immunology and the development of immunotherapeutics and (cancer-) vaccines.


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.


Predoctoral researchers


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 on AcTakines. The aim of this project is to construct IL-1b AcTakines (“AcTaleukins”) and explore their therapeutic potential as adjuvants in cancer vaccination without eliciting toxicity.


Willem Daneels
Willem Daneels

Willem Daneels has obtained his degree of Master of Medicine from the Ghent University in 2013. He is a recognized internal medicine specialist since 2018 and is currently finalizing his sub specialization in clinical hematology with a clinical interest for lymphoid malignancies. He has started his PhD project at the CRL since October 2018 on the development of humanized patient-derived tumor xenograft of non-hodgkin lymphoma for the evaluation of AcTakine-based cancer treatments and its translation into clinically relevant settings.


Nick Deploey
Nick Deploey

Nick Deploey graduated in Biomedical Sciences at Ghent University in 2019. During his undergraduate thesis, he helped with the development of a deep mutational scanning assay targeting the glucocorticoid receptor under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Frank Peelman and Prof. Dr. Karolien De Bosscher. This work is continued in an FWO SB funded PhD project in which he aims to successfully develop the aforementioned assay.


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.

 


Technical staff


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 AcTakines.

 


Jennifer De Geest
Jennifer De Geest

After Jennifer de Geest obtained her bachelors degree as a pharmaceutical biotechnology lab technician she studied an extra year as medical lab technician. In July 2018 she started working as lab technician in the CRL, within the AcTakine project. Her main tasks are protein purification and cloning.


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 nanobodies used to generate AcTakines.

 


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 both MAPPIT and AcTakine applications.

 


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.


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.

 


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.


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. 


Elke Rogge
Elke Rogge

After obtaining a bachelors degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology in 2001, Elke Rogge worked at the IRC in the lab of Peter Brouckaert as a lab technician for 13 years. She joined the CRL in 2014, focusing mainly on cancer immune therapy in mice.

 

 


Previous members of CRL


Eleonora Billi - Corporate GMP Quality Auditor at A. Menarini Manufacturing Logistics and Services srl (Firenze, Italy)

Celia Bovijn - Senior Application Developer at NUANCE Healthcare (Merelbeke)

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

Jennyfer Bultinck - Director pre-clinical operations at Oxyrane (Ghent)

Dorien Clarisse - Postdoctoral scientist at VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology

Karolien De Bosscher - VIB expert scientist at VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology & Lecturer at Ghent University

Lode Decauwer - Associate Scientist at Argenx (Ghent)

Julie Deckers - Postdoctoral scientist at the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research

Leentje De Ceuninck

Delphine Defeau - Lab technician, left the science field

Dieter Defever - Lab technician at arGEN-X (Ghent)

Stefaan De Koker - Site Director at eTheRNA immunotherapies (Ghent)

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

Gertie De Neve - Lab technician, left the science field

Sofie Desmet - Postdoctoral scientist at VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology

Sven Eyckerman - VIB expert scientist at VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology & Lecturer at Ghent University

Felien Geldhof -  Senior Research Associate at ActoBio Therapeutics (Ghent)

Sarah Gerlo - Professor at the Department of Biomolecular Medicine at Ghent University

Viola Gesellchen - Scientist at Complix (Ghent)

Laura Icardi - Postdoctoral scientist at Ospedale San Raffaele (Milan, Italy)

Hannes Iserentant - IP Director at Celyad (Brussels)

Krzysztof Kolmus - Postdoctoral scientist at the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (Warsaw, Poland)

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

Sam Lievens - Director at Orionis Biosciences (Ghent)

Miguel Lemaire - Senior Oversight Data Manager (Rockville, Maryland, USA)

Astrid Luypaert - Projectleader Positive Health (Brussel)

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

Delphine Masschaele - Data Manager cancer registry (Ghent)

Tony Montoye - Business Development Manager at VIB (Ghent)

Raffaele Mori

Viacheslav Mylka - Sequencing Technology Specialist at VIB

Els Pattyn - Senior Biostatistician at Ablynx (Ghent)

Ioanna Petta - Postdoctoral scientist at the Department Microbiome and immunology of Ghent University

Julie Piessevaux - Group Medical Leader Neuro Immuno at Roche (Brussels)

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

Liesbeth Schauvliege - Oncologist at the City Hospital of Roeselare

Dariusz Ratman - IT Expert Data Science/Bioinformatics at Roche

Jonathan Thommis - Lab technician at VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology

Kevin Titeca - Post-doctoral researcher at EMBL (Heidelberg, Germany)

Peter Ulrichts - Scientific Lead Neuromuscular Franchise at arGEN-X (Ghent)

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

Tim Van Acker - Business Development Manager at VIB (Ghent)

Laura Van Moortel - PhD student at VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology

Thomas Van Speybroeck - Senior Research Associate at Orionis Biosciences (Ghent)

José Vanderheyden - Lab technician at the Department of Medical Protein Research at Ghent University/VIB, retired

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

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

Virginie Vauthier - Postdoctoral scientist at Institut Cochi (Paris, France)

Els Vertenten - Lab technician at Ablynx (Ghent)

Laurens Vyncke - Advanced Medical Writer bij Emtex Medical Writing (Lede)

Wim Waelput - Co-Founder at Pathomation & clinical professor at VUB (Brussels)

Thomas Wüest

Lennart Zabeau - Senior Research Scientist at Orionis Biosciences (Ghent)