dr. Tijs Merckaert (PhD)

CRIG member

Doctoral fellow – Nanobody lab/Gevaert Lab, VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology, Ugent Department of Biomolecular Medicine, faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences – Ugent
Junior researcher – VIB, VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology - VIB
Principal investigator: prof. Kris Gevaert (PhD) 


Research focus

The protein kinase AKT regulates various cellular processes including cell proliferation, growth, metabolism, and is hyperactive in up to 70% of human breast cancers. However, there is no targeted therapy that selectively inhibits this protein. The kinase comes in three isoforms which are very closely related yet non-redundant and, apart from genetic approaches, there are no methods available to target a single isoform. Using nanobody technology we are developing AKT isoform-specific interactors that can be used in cells to study the roles of individual AKT isoforms. These nanobodies can be a stepping stone towards an isoform-specific inhibitor.

Key publications

  • Development and characterization of protein kinase B/AKT isoform-specific nanobodies. PlosOne, 2020. (PMID 33045011)

Contact & links

  • Lab address: VIB Center for Medical Biotechnology, Tech lane Zwijnaarde 75 – 9052 Gent