dr. Eric J. de Bony de Lavergne (PhD)

CRIG member
Eric James de Bony de Lavergne

postdoctoral researcher – OncoRNALab, Center for Medical Genetics (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent)
Principal investigator: prof. Pieter Mestdagh (PhD) 


Research focus

Human cells have been shown to develop tumorous behavior through many ways. Indeed multiple molecular mechanisms can be exploited at the benefit of cancer cells helping them to evade proper regulation and give rise to full blown tumors.
The last decades of molecular biology research have shed great light on the genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic factors whose alteration often participate to the onset and/or the progression of cancer. Most of these factors were looked for in the coding regions of our genome, that is parts of our DNA which carry information to produce proteins.
This said, the last decade has seen the emergence of functional non-coding segments of our DNA which give rise to non-coding RNAs. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a type of non-coding RNAs which are, increasingly, involved in most aspect of cellular behavior (ie: pluripotency, proliferation, differentiation,…). To this day, more than 50,000 lncRNAs have been discovered, yet all their functions remained unknow and more importantly their role in cancer is only starting to attract attention.
Our research aims to identify lncRNAs involved in cancer genesis and dissect their mode of actions.
We believe that this poorly understood pool of molecules may yield many biomarkers and new therapeutic opportunities to better treat all types of cancers. 


I received my bioengineer’s degree in 2012 and started a PhD on the function and regulation of coding and non-coding RNAs. Since then my interest has grown for the non-coding part of our genome. I believe that in order to fight cancer more efficiently we need a more detailed and comprehensive picture of the molecular networks which allow a cell to do its business, that is all the networks and their molecular nodes including long non-coding RNAs.

Key publications

  • The RNA Atlas expands the catalog of human non-coding RNAs. Nature Biotechnology, 2021. (PMID: 34140680)
  • Comprehensive identification of long noncoding RNAs in colorectal cancer. Oncotarget, 2018, Vol. 9, (No. 45), pp: 27605-27629.

Contact & links

  • postal and laboratory address: Medical Research Building, campus UZ Gent, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • office address: Blok B, ground floor, campus UZ Gent, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • LinkedIn
  • X (former Twitter)
  • Eric James de Bony is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks