dr. Yves-Paul Vandewynckel (MD, PhD)

CRIG member
Yves-Paul Vandewynckel

Post-doctoral fellow, Hepatology Research Unit, Dept. of Hepatology & Gastroenterology, Dept of Internal Medicine, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
Resident Internal Medicine - Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
Principal investigator: prof. Hans Van Vlierberghe (MD, PhD)


Research focus

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) among others is characterized by a harsh micro-environment including hypoxia, glucose deprivation and the accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which activates the unfolded protein response (UPR). However, the role of these micro-environmental stresses in tumor initiation and progression is controversial. The impact on angiogenesis and ER stress and its effect on chemoresistance in a mouse model of HCC was the topic of my doctoral thesis. Pro-apoptotic unfolded protein response signaling, as a promising strategy for HCC therapy, selectively killing endoplasmic reticulum-stressed tumor cells is now further investigated. Drug re-purposing may offer new opportunities in this field. Our research is focussed on the clinical applicability of the research results , i.e. from bench to bedside strategy.


After medical school, I started a PhD project in the field of liver cancer. In order to present my results properly during the international conferences, I followed multiple language and presentation courses. We showed by in vitro and in vivo experiments that the antimalarial Artesunate could be a valuable option for HCC patients and are currently running a phase I trial with this product. In addition, we unraveled different pathways involved in protein homeostasis in HCC cells. I’m participating in different medical organizations and committees. I’m an active member of the committee which organizes the clinical education of Medical specialist at Ghent university. From 2014, I led a research platform with annual conference meetings in order to strengthen the connection between the different Belgian universities in Hepatology research. This initiative was called the “Young Belgian Association for the Study of the liver". In the recent years, I acquired essential skills in basic and clinical research enabling high-impact discoveries. In addition, I am a medical practitioner taking care of patients and enjoying the cutting-edge novelties in the field of Internal Medicine.

Key publications

  • Next-generation proteasome inhibitor oprozomib synergizes with modulators of the unfolded protein response to suppress hepatocellular carcinoma.' Oncotarget. 2016. (PMID: 27167000)
  • 'Placental growth factor inhibition modulates the interplay between hypoxia and unfolded protein response in hepatocellular carcinoma.' BMC Cancer, 2016. (PMID: 26753564)
  • 'Laminin-332 sustains chemoresistance and quiescence as part of the human hepatic cancer stem cell niche.' J Hepatol. 2016. (PMID:     26592953)
  • 'Tauroursodeoxycholic acid dampens oncogenic apoptosis induced by endoplasmic reticulum stress during hepatocarcinogen exposure.' Oncotarget. 2015. (PMID: 26293671)
  • 'Modulation of the unfolded protein response impedes tumor cell adaptation to proteotoxic stress: a PERK for hepatocellular carcinoma therapy.' Hepatol Int. 2014. (PMID: 25598862)
  • 'Therapeutic effects of artesunate in hepatocellular carcinoma: repurposing an ancient antimalarial agent.' Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014. (PMID: 24987823)
  • 'The paradox of the unfolded protein response in cancer.' Anticancer Res. 2013. (PMID: 24222102)

Contact & links