dr. Dorien Clarisse (PhD)

CRIG member
Dorien Clarisse

Postdoctoral Scientist - Translational Nuclear Receptor Research (TNRR) lab - VIB Center for Medical Biotechnology - UGent Department of Biomolecular Medicine (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent)
Principal investigator: prof. Karolien De Bosscher (PhD)


Research focus

Glucocorticoids are essential drugs in the treatment protocols of lymphoid malignancies. These steroidal drugs trigger apoptosis of the malignant cells by binding to the glucocorticoid receptor, which is a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily. Unfortunately, prolonged glucocorticoid treatment is severely hampered by two major problems:

  • detrimental glucocorticoid-associated side effects, which hamper patient quality of life, and
  • the emergence of GC resistance, which is a gradual process that is inevitable in many patients. 

This emphasizes the need to reevaluate and optimize the widespread use of glucocorticoids in lymphoid malignancies. To achieve these goals, a deep understanding of the mechanisms that govern glucocorticoid responsiveness is required. As glucocorticoids are expected to remain deeply rooted in treatment protocols of lymphoid malignancies, we aim to tackle the following needs: 

  • Robust clinical marker(s) to detect glucocorticoid resistance in an early stage in patients. The advantage would be a faster reorientation of a patient’s treatment protocol and improved patient quality of life. 
  • Novel glucocorticoid-rewiring therapeutic strategies that have diminished side effects but uphold therapeutic effects. We are currently exploring the concept of crosstalk with other nuclear receptors as a way towards therapeutic innovation with more precise acting nuclear receptor ligands.   


After obtaining two Master’s degrees, one in Chemistry and one in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, I started my PhD training on a VLK project in 2012 and was awarded an IWT scholarship the following year. I successfully defended my PhD in December 2018 and I am currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Translational Nuclear Receptor Research (TNRR) lab of prof. Karolien De Bosscher.
My focus is exploring nuclear receptor crosstalk mechanisms as a route towards selective therapeutics with reduced side effects as well as the timelier identification of glucocorticoid resistance in patients with lymphoid malignancies.   

Key publications

  • 'Crosstalk between glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors boosts glucocorticoid-induced killing of multiple myeloma cells’, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 2023 (PMID: 37578563)
  • ‘Approaches towards tissue-selective pharmacology of the mineralocorticoid receptor’, British Journal of Pharmacology, 2022 (PMID: 34698367)
  • 'Latest perspectives on glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis and resistance in lymphoid malignancies' BBA - Reviews on Cancer, 2020 (PMID: 32950642)
  • 'Nuclear receptor crosstalk - defining the mechanisms for therapeutic innovation' Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 2020 (PMID: 32303708)
  • 'Coregulator profiling of the glucocorticoid receptor in lymphoid malignancies' Oncotarget, 2017 (PMID: 29312638). 

Contact & links