dr. Nicole Oatman (PhD)

CRIG member
Nicole Oatman

Postdoctoral researcher – Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Prof. Tom Taghon’s group, UGent.
Principal investigator: prof. Tom Taghon (PhD)


Research focus

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer. It is a highly heterogeneous malignant hematological disorder that is driven by recurrent genetic abnormalities. Hence, the molecular genetic makeup of ALL influences treatment strategies and dictates risk stratification. GATA3 is a T-cell lineage transcription factor whose expression is tightly regulated during normal development of lymphoid progenitors.
We discovered that significant elevated expression of GATA3 is a distinct feature of a subset of ALL cases that harbor fusion oncogenes. We hypothesize that aberrant expression of GATA3 is a unifying secondary genetic lesion in the pathogenesis of these ALL subsets that have different clinical and biological characteristics. Hence, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the role of GATA3 misexpression across these subsets. Ultimately, we hope this will improve the current classification of ALL and uncover potential therapeutic targets. 

Key publications

  • Mechanisms of stearoyl CoA desaturase inhibitor sensitivity and acquired resistance in cancer. Science Advances, 2021. (PMID: 33568479).
  • The transcription factor Olig2 is important for the biology of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas. Neuro-Oncology, 2017. (PMID: 28339768).
  • Deficient expression of DNA repair enzymes in early progression to sporadic colon cancer. Genome Integrity, 2012. (PMID: 22494821).

Contact & links

  • Lab address: Corneel Heymanslaan 10, ingang 38, MRB2, 9000 Gent
  • Nicole Oatman is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks