dr. Mattias Hofmans (MD, PhD)

CRIG member

Post-doctoral researcher – Lab for pediatric hematology-oncology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent 
Clinical biologist - Laboratory of Hematology, UZ Gent / UGent
Principal investigators: prof. Tim Lammens (PhD) and prof. Barbara De Moerloose (MD, PhD)


Research focus

Our goal is to contribute to increase the cure rates of pediatric cancer and decrease the therapy-related late effects within survivors.

I am particularly focused on juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), a rare and aggressive clonal disease of early childhood for which hematopoietic stem cell transplantation remains the only curative option, albeit with a high relapse rate and many associated toxicities. In this disease, we study the non-coding RNA transcriptome, with a focus on lncRNAs and circRNAs, which have recently been implicated in a variety of biological processes, including hematopoiesis. These non-coding RNAs have received much research attention as they possess features interesting for treatment, such as tissue specificity, low overall expression and easy targetability with RNAi or gene editing technology. We aim at deciphering the lncRNA and circRNA transcriptome of JMML and use this knowledge to develop novel treatments.

Besides, I am also working on various other pediatric cancer types i.e. pre-B ALL and AML. Our research key areas within the specific focus include: i) preclinical evaluation of new treatments; ii) establishing strategies to develop highly specific personalized drug therapies, and iii) actively participating to a diverse array of clinical trials.

Our studies are carried out by employing genome-wide screening techniques at the DNA level (array CGH, whole exome and candidate gene DNA sequencing) and at the RNA level (gene expression and microRNA profiling). In addition, we have extensive experience with many molecular biology tools for functional analyses.

Importantly, the optimal translation of the fundamental and applied research into children benefit (short-and long-term) is a major aspect throughout all our research lines.


  • 2006-2013: Master in Medicine, Ghent University.
  • 2013-2020: Master in Specialist Medicine: Clinical Biology (laboratory medicine), Ghent University.
  • 2021: PhD in Health Sciences, Ghent University.
    Title: "Novel Therapeutic Targets in Juvenile Myelomonocytic
                Leukemia: Are noncoding RNAs Valuable Treatment Options?" 
    Promotors: prof. Barbara De Moerloose, prof. Tim Lammens and
                          prof. Jan Philippé.

Research team

Key publications

  • Long Non-Coding RNAs as Novel Therapeutic Targets in Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia. Scientific Reports, 2021 (PMID: 33531590)
  • CircRNAs Dysregulated in Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia: CircMCTP1 Stands Out. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 2021 (PMID: 33490078)
  • The altered transcriptome of pediatric myelodysplastic syndrome revealed by RNA sequencing. Journal of Hematology and Oncology, 2020 (PMID: 33046098)
  • Clinical significance of TARP expression in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia. HemaSphere, 2020 (PMID: 32309783)
  • Noonan syndrome-associated myeloproliferative disorder with somatically acquired monosomy 7: impact on clinical decision making. Br J Haematol, 2019 (PMID: 31617209)
  • Results of successive EORTC-CLG 58 881 and 58 951 trials in paediatric T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Br J Haematol, 2019 (PMID: 31124581)
  • The long non-coding RNA landscape in juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia. Haematologica, 2018 (PMID: 29858388)

Contact & links

  • Lab address: Laboratory for Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, ingang 10 (route 1034), Ghent University Hospital, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent
  • PHO UZ Gent
  • Mattias Hofmans is interested to receive invitations for talks or presentations