dr. Annelien Morlion (PhD)

CRIG member
Annelien Morlion

Postdoctoral fellowOncoRNALab, Center for Medical Genetics (UGent)
Principal investigators: prof. Pieter Mestdagh (PhD) & prof. Jo Vandesompele (PhD)

Research focus

Having good cancer biomarkers is crucial for (early) cancer diagnosis, therapy response monitoring, and follow-up. Although tissue biopsies remain the gold standard for cancer management, biomarkers detectable using less invasive methods, such as liquid biopsies of blood, could offer multiple benefits. These include assisting in early detection, reducing the number of painful surgical procedures, and enabling repeated sampling over time to monitor cancer progression. The dynamic nature of RNAs – produced on demand according to a cell’s specific needs – combined with their presence in body fluids makes them interesting biomarker candidates. My research focuses on cell-free RNAs in body fluids. By applying computational methods to RNA-sequencing data of these liquid biopsy samples, I aim to uncover direct or indirect cancer signals in cell-free RNA profiles that can facilitate cancer detection and management.


2017: MSc Biochemistry and Biotechnology – major bioinformatics and systems biology (UGent)
2024: Doctor of Health Sciences (UGent)

2015-2016: Erasmus programme at International Master in Bioinformatics, Università di Bologna (Italy)
2017-2018: selected courses from master Artificial Intelligence (KU Leuven)
2018-2024: Doctoral Training Programme (UGent)
2022-present: Master of Teaching, Science & Technology (VUB)

2018-2019: Emmanuel Van der Schueren starting grant (Kom Op Tegen Kanker)
2019-2020: PhD fellowship UGent Special Research Fund (BOF)
2020-2025: PhD fellowship Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)

Contact & links

  • postal and laboratory address: Medical Research Building 1 (MRB1) 
    (entrance 34), Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent
  • office address: Blok B, ground floor, room 100.006 (entrance 36)
  • OncoRNALab 
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Scholar 
  • Annelien Morlion is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks