Kim Verduijn

CRIG member
Kim Verduijn

Scientific researcher - Small Animals Department of oncology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UGent)
Principal investigator: prof. Hilde De Rooster (PhD)


Research focus

Recent insights have shown that the availability of amino acids is  a rate-limiting factor for tumor growth, malignant progression, and the therapy response of multiple cancer subtypes.
Our first translational research project of Kom Op Tegen Kanker (KOTK) will focus on validating the safety/tolerability and efficacy of a mammalian-derived alternative asparaginase formulation in a beagle dog model, as a final step required to initiate clinical trials in dogs with lymphoma. L-asparaginase is already a cornerstone enzymatic drug in the treatment of human acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoma. However, current administration is limited due to immune reactions and asparaginase-related toxicities.
The second KOTK study will focus on validating the inhibition of the amino acid stress response (AAR) signalling pathway by inhibition of GCN2 in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Blocking the AAR pathway by GCN2 inhibition will result in increased sensitivity to L-asparaginase administration and induces apoptosis. For this study, we will enrol a clinical trial in cats with feline mammary adenocarcinoma. Improving treatment options for human TNBC is important, because in contrast to patients with hormone receptor- and HER2-positive breast cancers, TNBC patients have limited therapeutic options. 

Contact & links

  • Lab address: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, 
    Salisburylaan 133, entrance 75, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium 
  • Kim Verduijn is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks