prof. An Hendrix (PhD)

CRIG group leader
An Hendrix

Research focus

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) transfer lipids, membrane-associated and intraluminal proteins, and nucleic acids influencing various physiological and pathological functions.  Tumor-derived EVs enter the circulation to assist organ metastasis, a process responsible for more than 90% of cancer-associated mortality.  The release of tumor-derived EVs is regulated by secretory small Rab GTPases. The content of EVs reflects the origin and state of the cell. Quantification and characterization of tumor-derived EVs obtained by liquid biopsy may enable the prognosis of patients or predict therapy response. Clinical implementation of EV biomarkers is hampered by the lack of standard methodology and reference materials. We focus on the identification of Rab GTPase-dependent EV biogenesis, standardization of EV isolation and characterization methods and implementation of EVs as blood-based biomarkers in precision medicine.


2005 Msc. bioscience engineering cell and gene biotechnology
2010 PhD health sciences

2005-2010: PhD student, Department of Medical Oncology, Ghent University
2010-2019: postdoctoral fellow, Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Ghent University
Since 2017: assistant professor, Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research, Ghent University

INSERM U482, 75571 Paris 12, France (May 2006)
Medical Genetics Branch, NHGRI, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, US (April-June 2007, March-May 2008, August 2009, April 2015)
Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Calgary, Canada (May-July 2017)

Youth Travel Fund Grant from FEBS 2007
Travel Fellowship from European Association for Cancer Research 2008
Meeting Bursary from European Association for Cancer Research 2010
Paper of the Year Award from the Belgian Society for Medical Oncology 2013
Price for fundamental research from the Belgian Royal Academies of Medicine 2013
Best oral presentation award at LKI symposium Liquid biopsies and cancer 2017
YIPOC grant from CRIG 2017

Use of the GTPase Rab27B to diagnose and to treat poor prognosis estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer (PCT/EP2010/056542, 12.05.2010)


Research team

Key publications

  • EV-TRACK: Transparent reporting and centralizing knowledge in EV research, Nature Methods, 2017 (PMID: 28245209)
  • The impact of disparate isolation methods for extracellular vesicles on downstream RNA profiling, Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, 2014 (PMID: 25317274)
  • Vacuolar H+ ATPase expression and activity is required for Rab27B-dependent invasive growth and metastasis of breast cancer, International Journal of Cancer, 2013 (PMID: 23390068)
  • Effect of the secretory small GTPase Rab27B on breast cancer growth, invasion, and metastasis, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2010 (PMID: 20484105)
  • An ex(o)citing machinery for invasive tumor growth, Cancer Research, 2010 (PMID: 21098711)
  • The secretory small GTPase Rab27B as a marker for breast cancer progression, Oncotarget, 2010 (PMID: 21304180)


Contact & links