dr. Bieke Decaesteker (PhD)

CRIG member
Bieke Decaesteker

Postdoctoral researcher - Lab for paediatric oncogenomics, Center for Medical Genetics (UGent)
Principal investigator: prof. Frank Speleman (PhD)

Research focus

Neuroblastoma (NB) is a devastating childhood tumor of the peripheral nervous system. Poor survival rates warrant development of more efficient and less toxic treatment. 
My research focusses on transcription factors (TFs) and epigenetic rewiring driving transcriptional addiction in neuroblastoma.
I have selected SOX11 and TBX2 as  dosage sensitive TFs and shown tumor dependency for both highly expressed proteins.
Further work includes the study of target genes and the underlying molecular pathways regulated by the TFs.
Zebrafish is used as a model to study the role of SOX11 and TBX2 in vivo.
Also, drugging opportunities to target transcriptional addiction is under study. 


I obtained a Master in Biomedical Sciences with a major in Genetics (UGent, 2013). 
After obtaining my master degree, I started a PhD (from 2013 until 2017, FWO fellowship and Interim Fellowship University) at the lab of prof. Speleman and prof. De Preter where I mainly focussed on oncotranscriptomics in neuroblastoma development. During my PhD I was selected to visit the broad institute of MIT and Harvard for 1 month to learn the ChIP-seq technology as well as the bio-informatic analysis of the obtained data.
I had the opportunity to present our research at several national and international meetings (ANR, Oncopoint, BeSHG,..) and received a price for best poster presentation on the oncopoint meeting of February 2016 and 2017, and a travel award on the ANR meeting of May 2018. 
In June 2019, I started as postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Prof. Speleman.

Contact & links

  • Lab address: Center for Medical Genetics Ghent (CMGG), Medical Research Building 1 (MRB1), campus UZ Gent, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Speleman lab
  • Center for Medical Genetics Ghent
  • Orcid
  • Bieke Decaesteker is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks