Doctoral fellow – Compomics – VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology, UGent
Principal investigators: prof. Francis Impens (PhD) & prof. Lennart Martens (PhD)
Vaccination has been successful in eradicating smallpox and almost eradicating poliovirus, it is available for over 29 diseases, and prevents roughly 3 million deaths every year. However, some diseases like cancer and tuberculosis lack effective vaccines. Developing vaccines for these diseases is challenging because they heavily rely on T-cell immunity, which requires identifying specific MHC-epitopes to trigger a strong immune response. Identifying these MHC-epitopes is done through immunopeptidomics, where bound epitopes are isolated and analyzed. Though new protocols are being developed to increase sensitivity, bioinformatics tools for efficiently identifying these specific MHC-epitopes lack behind. To address this, I am developing specialized bioinformatics tools for immunopeptidomics data. This will lead to a more comprehensive understanding of available epitopes that can be used for vaccination, potentially overcoming current limitations in developing cancer and intracellular bacterial vaccines.
My name is Arthur Declercq, I graduated in biomedical sciences in 2021 with a major in systems biology and elective courses in immunology.
I am pursuing a PhD in the CompOmics lab where I aim to contribute to cancer vaccination efforts through the development of innovative bioinformatics algorithms. In 2023 I won the PhD innovation café award by VOKA and UGent with the development of MS²Rescore.
- ’MS2Rescore: Data-Driven Rescoring Dramatically Boosts Immunopeptide Identification Rates’. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, 2022. (PMID: 35803561)
- ‘Updated MS²PIP web server supports cutting-edge proteomics applications’. Nucleic Acids Research, 2023. (PMID: 37140039)