OncoRNALab

The lab of Prof. Jo Vandesompele and Prof. Pieter Mestdagh at Ghent University

The OncoRNALab is supervised by Prof. Jo Vandesompele and Prof. Pieter Mestdagh at Ghent University (Department of Biomolecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences). It is part of the Center for Medical Genetics and the Cancer Research Institute Ghent.
The lab’s research aims to exploit RNA for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The various research lines converge on studying the role of non-coding RNA in cancer and on the utility of extracellular RNA in liquid biopsies. Through a combination of high-throughput (functional) genomics technologies and bio-informatics tools, we seek to answer various fundamental and translational research questions.

Projects

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circRNA

circular RNAs in cancer

exRNAQC

controlling pre-analytical variables of RNA sequencing in blood-based precision medicine

digital PCR

digital PCR data-analysis tools developed by the Ghent University Digital PCR Consortium

EV-TRACK

crowdsourcing knowledgebase with experimental parameters of public extracellular vesicles (EV) studies

LNCASO

antisense oligonucleotide design for long non-coding RNAs

LNCipedia

a comprehensive compendium of human long non-coding RNAs

miRBase Tracker

easy-to-use online database that keeps track of all historical and current miRNA annotation present in the miRBase database

miSTAR

microRNA target prediction

Power Calculations for digital PCR

power Calculations for digital PCR

primerXL

state-of-the-art PCR assay design for quantitative and digital PCR, targeted resequencing, double-mismatch allele specific PCR (DMAS), and 4C

RDML database

public database for sharing of quantitative and digital PCR using the RDML data exchange format

ZipperPlot

visualization and analysis method to evaluate human transcription start sites in relation to publicly available CAGE-sequencing, ChIP-sequencing and DNase-sequencing datasets

The Lab

Principal Investigators

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Jo Vandesompele

Professor

Non-coding RNA, Extracellular RNA, Liquid biopsies, Pan-cancer, Method development

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Pieter Mestdagh

Professor

Non-coding RNA, Cancer, Extracellular RNA, Liquid biopsies, Bioinformatics, Immune oncology

PostDoctoral Fellows

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Anneleen Decock

PostDoctoral Fellow

Cancer, Extracellular RNA, Liquid biopsies, Pediatric tumors, Cancer diagnostics, detection and prognosis

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Bram De Wilde

PostDoctoral Fellow

Cancer, Non-coding RNA

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Eric J. de Bony

PostDoctoral Fellow

Non-coding RNA, Cancer, Bioinformatics

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Francisco Avila Cobos

PostDoctoral Fellow

Computational deconvolution, Transcriptomics, Liquid biopsies, Biostatistics

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Pieter-Jan Volders

PostDoctoral Fellow

Bioinformatics, Computational proteomics, Non-coding RNA

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Steve Lefever

PostDoctoral Fellow

Cancer, Non-coding RNA, Pediatric tumors, Bioinformatics

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Tom Van Maerken

PostDoctoral Fellow

Cancer, Non-coding RNA

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Wim Trypsteen

PostDoctoral Fellow

Cancer, Non-coding RNA

Doctoral Fellows

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Annelien Morlion

Doctoral Fellow

Bioinformatics, Liquid biopsies, RNA, Cancer

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Eva Hulstaert

Doctoral Fellow

Cancer, Extracellular RNA, Liquid biopsies, Immune checkpoint inhibitors, Melanoma

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Fien Gysens

Doctoral Fellow

Non-coding RNA, Cancer, asthma and COPD, CRISPRi

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Jasper Verwilt

Doctoral Fellow

Cancer, Non-coding RNA

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Jilke De Wilde

Doctoral Fellow

Cancer, Non-coding RNA

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Jill Deleu

Doctoral Fellow

Cancer, Extracellular RNA, Liquid biopsies, Pediatric tumors

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Jocelyn De Wever

Doctoral Fellow

Cancer, Non-coding RNA

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Kathleen Schoofs

Doctoral Fellow

Cancer, Non-coding RNA

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Lucia Lorenzi

Doctoral Fellow

Cancer, Non-coding RNA, transcriptomics, bioinformatics

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Marieke Vromman

Doctoral Fellow

Cancer, Non-coding RNA, Circular RNA

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Ramiro Martinez

Doctoral Fellow

Cancer, Non-coding RNA, Melanoma, Lung cancer, High-throughput screening, CRISPR-Cas, Tumor immunology and immunotherapy, Immune checkpoint inhibitors

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Ruben Van Paemel

Doctoral Fellow

Cancer, cfDNA methylation, Extracellular RNA, Liquid biopsies

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Shanna Dewaele

Doctoral Fellow

Non-coding RNA, Cancer, Melanoma

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Willem van Snippenberg

Doctoral Fellow

Non-coding RNA, HIV

Technicians

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Eveline Vanden Eynde

Lab Technician

Non-coding RNA, Cancer, Extracellular RNA, Liquid biopsies, Melanoma

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Jasper Anckaert

Bioinformatician

Bioinformatics, Cancer, Non-coding RNA

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Justine Nuytens

Lab Technician

Non-coding RNA, Cancer, Extracellular RNA, Liquid biopsies

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Kimberly Verniers

Lab Technician

Non-coding RNA, Cancer, Extracellular RNA, Liquid biopsies

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Nurten Yigit

Lab Technician

Non-coding RNA, Cancer, Extracellular RNA, Liquid biopsies, Melanoma, Pediatric tumors, Lung cancer

Alumni

Alan Van Goethem

Doctoral fellow (08/2012 - 03/2017)

Ali Rihani

(Post)doctoral fellow (09/2008 - 12/2014)

Anthony Van Driessche

Lab technician (08/2010-01/2012)

Celine Everaert

Doctoral fellow (06/2015 - 12/2019)

Dries Rombaut

Doctoral fellow (08/2012 - 03/2019)

Duncan Ayers

Visiting doctoral fellow (9/2009 - 7/2011)

Evi Michels

Doctoral fellow (01/2004 - 12/2007)

Filip Pattyn

(Post)doctoral fellow (07/2000 - 08/2012)

Fiori Zeka

Doctoral fellow (11/2010 - 10/2015)

Gaëlle Van Severen

Lab technician (06/2010 - 03/2011)

Gert Van Peer

Doctoral fellow (10/2009 - 09/2014)

Hetty Helsmoortel

Postdoctoral fellow (07/2016 - 02/2020)

Jasmien Hoebeeck

(Post)doctoral fellow (01/2002 - 09/2010)

Joëlle Vermeulen

Doctoral fellow (11/2005 - 12/2009)

Karen Verboom

Doctoral fellow (10/2015 - 09/2019)

Katrien Vanderheyden

Lab technician

Liesbeth Vercruysse

lab technician

Maté Ongenaert

Postdoctoral fellow (10/2010-09/2013)

Sander Anseeuw

Lab technician

Stefaan Derveaux

Postdoctoral fellow (2009 - 2011)

Thibaut D'huyvetter

Lab technician (08/2016 - 10/2017)

Tiago Franca Brazão

Postdoctoral fellow (06/2017 - 05/2018)

Recent Publications

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Minimally invasive classification of paediatric solid tumours using reduced representation bisulphite sequencing of cell-free DNA: a proof-of-principle study

ER stress in antigen‐presenting cells promotes NKT cell activation through endogenous neutral lipids

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