dr. Kenneth Verstraete (PhD)

CRIG member

FWO postdoctoral research fellow - Unit for Structural Biology and Biophysics, VIB-Ugent Center for Inflammation Research and Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, UGent
Principal investigator : prof. Savvas Savvides (PhD)


Research focus

Targeting de novo lipid synthesis in cancer cells.
Increased de novo lipogenesis is a hallmark of a wide variety of cancers to support high rates of membrane biogenesis and lipid-based post-translational protein modifications. Metabolic reprogramming in cancer cells to aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effect) may indeed provide energy and precursors to support de novo lipid synthesis. Moreover, in different types cancers, lipogenic enzymes are found to be upregulated or activated, and therapeutic targeting of lipogenic enzymes is therefore considered as a therapeutic strategy.
My research focuses on developing novel inhibitors that target de novo lipogenesis by structure-aided drug discovery methods such as fragment-based X-ray screening, virtual screening and the X-ray structure determination of enzyme:inhibitor complexes.

Key publications

  • Extracellular assembly and activation principles of oncogenic class III receptor tyrosine kinases. Nature Reviews Cancer, 2012. (PMID: 23076159)

Contact & links

  • Savvas Savvides lab 
  • Lab address: VIB-Ugent Center for Inflammation Research, Technologiepark 71, 9052 Zwijnaarde, Belgium 
  • dr. Verstraete is interested to receive invitations for talks and presentations