Louise Diependaele

CRIG member
Louise Diependaele

Doctoral fellow -‘Host-Microbiota Interaction’ Lab (HMI), Inflammation Research Center (IRC) - Ugent, VIB (Department of Rheumatology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences)
Ghent-Gut-Inflammation-Group (GGIG) member 
Principal investigator: prof. Lars Vereecke (PhD) 

Research focus

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common type of cancer with high mortality rate. Increasing evidence shows that the microbiota influences both cancer initiation, progression and therapeutic response. Although the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood, they involve cross-interactions between microbiota-, immune- and tumor-components. We propose to study the impact of microbiota in CRC development and immune therapy, using unique in house-developed mouse models of microbiota dependent CRC, which represent unique experimental platforms to study the interplay between immunity- microbiota-tumor compartments. Despite high success rates in other cancer types, immune checkpoint inhibition therapy (ICI), is not efficacious in most prevalent CRC subtypes. Observations in melanoma and lung cancer indicate that microbiota composition is a crucial determinant of ICI efficacy. Therefore, we hypothesize that microbiota modulation during ICI therapy is essential to improve its efficacy in CRC. We will study the contribution of various immune components and evaluate immunological and microbiome interventions to assess CRC development and immune therapy efficacy. This study will open new perspectives for microbiota-immune based diagnostics and therapeutics in CRC.

Contact & links

  • Lab address: Host Microbiota Interaction lab, campus UZ Gent, MRBII building (entrance 38), Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Louise Diependaele is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks