Doctoral fellow - Pediatric Precision Oncology Lab Ghent, Department of Biomolecular Medicine (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent)
Doctoral fellow - Unit for Translational Research in Oncology/The Department of Diagnostic Sciences (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent)
Doctoral fellow – Lab of Myeloid Cell Biology in Tissue Damage and Inflammation (VIB)
Principal investigators: prof. Frank Speleman (PhD), prof. Steven Goossens (PhD) and prof. Charlotte Scott (PhD)
Neuroblastoma (NB) is a heterogenous childhood tumor and represents the most common malignancy diagnosed in the first year of life. NB is a neuroendocrine tumor that arises in the developing sympathetic nervous system and is marked by recurrent patterns of chromosomal imbalances and a low mutational burden. MYCN amplification is a hallmark of high-risk NB while ALK mutations occur in all risk groups with increased frequency in relapsed cases. Despite the application of multimodal therapies, progress in survival for high-risk NB patients has been modest in the past decades underlining the urgent need for novel, more efficient and less toxic therapies. Recently, combination drugging with focus on RRM2/CHK1 inhibition has come to the forefront of targeted NB therapies. Ribonucleotide reductase regulatory subunit M2 (RRM2) is the rate-limiting subunit of ribonucleotide reductase involved in the conversion of ribonucleotides in deoxyribonucleotides. RRM2 plays a crucial role in DNA replication stress control and has been identified as an important NB dependency gene. In my project, full molecular and cellular landscaping of the tumor microenvironment of an immunocompetent MYCN driven NB mouse model will be carried out. Through the use of sc-RNAseq and (spatial) proteomics/transcriptomics, the effects of RRM2/CHK1 inhibition on the NB immune landscape will be evaluated and preclinical testing will be expanded.
In 2023 I obtained my Master of Science in Bioscience Engineering with a major in Cell and Gene Biotechnology at Gent University.