prof. Kathleen Marchal (PhD)

CRIG group leader
Kathleen Marchal

Principal investigator - Dept. of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Dept. of Information Technology, IMinds, Ghent University
Associate professor (Faculty of Sciences, UGent)
Partner (Bioinformatics Institute Ghent, BIG-N2N)


Research focus

Nowadays large collection of molecular data on individual tumors or even tumor cells are becoming increasingly available. Our group is developing data-analysis methods that allow mining and integrating these data to identify novel drug targets, biomarkers and to improve cancer subtyping. Because of our expertise with such analysis methods our group became since 2015 member of the international ICGC consortium (International Cancer Genome Consortium).


K. Marchal is PI at the Dept of Information Technology and at the Dept of Biochemistry and Bioinformatics, UGent. She is extraordinary professor at the University of Pretoria, Dept of Genetics. The group of Marchal (UGent) focuses on developing computational methods for systems biology by combining advanced statistics and data mining with the proper biological assumptions. This, in order to assist systems biologists with the analysis of their data, but mainly also to discover ‘new biology’ from the meta-analysis of publicly available data. The group’s research has always revolved around ‘networks’. The group’s main expertise in motif detection, network inference and network-based data-interpretation will be key to the current project. Since 2013 the group became interested in using genomic variation to study network evolution in clonal systems, amongst others cancer. In this context the group has done pioneering work in developing methods for the integrative analysis of molecular data (transcriptome, methylome, genome) of clonal systems. The group has developed the first bacterial eQTL system (phenetic) and has published several network-based integrative methods to improve cancer subtyping, driver identification and determination of mode of action with applications in personalized medicine.

Research team

  • dr. Lieven Verbeke - post-doctoral fellow
  • dr. Dries De Maeyer - post-doctoral fellow
  • Mushthofa Mushthofa - doctoral fellow
  • Camilo Andres - doctoral fellow
  • Bram Weytjens - doctoral fellow

Key publications

  • SomInaClust: detection of cancer genes based on somatic mutation patterns of inactivation and clustering. BMC Bioinformatics, 2015.
  • Pathway Relevance Ranking for Tumor Samples through Network-Based Data Integration. PloS One, 2015.
  • Simultaneous discovery of cancer subtypes and subtype features by molecular data integration. Bioinformatics, 2016.

Contact & links

  • Dept. of Information Technology, IMinds, Ghent University, iGent Toren, Technologiepark 15, 9052 Gent
  • Data integration & biological networks
  • prof Marchal is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks