CRIG team receives 'ME TO YOU' grant for second year in a row for research on pediatric leukemia


The Foundation 'ME TO YOU' yearly provides grants to promising young scientists that perform research on leukemia and related blood diseases. Read more...

We congratulate CRIG researcher Jolien Vanhooren for receiving a 'ME TO YOU' grant 2023 to study the role of Nidogen-1 and its potential to improve the treatment of pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML). 

It is the second year in a row that the 'Lab for Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation' at U(Z)Gent/CRIG is awarded. Last year, CRIG researcher Charlotte Derpoorter from the team received a 'ME TO YOU' grant 2022 for her research project on the role of Piccolo as a potential novel therapeutic target in the treatment of pediatric leukemia.

A short summary of both projects can be found below.

Award 2023 - Jolien Vanhooren - short summary of the project:

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a specific form of leukemia in which abnormal myeloid cells proliferate and inhibit the production and function of healthy blood cells. The treatment of children with AML comprises intensive chemotherapy, which however is responsible for severe side effects and does not cure all patients as some patients relapse due to resistant leukemic stem cells. In the research team of Jolien, abnormally expressed genes in the leukemic stem cells are studied. As such, overexpression of the NID1/Nidogen-1 gene/protein was observed in leukemic stem cells and AML. In this project, the role of Nidogen-1 in AML (including a potential role as therapeutic target) will be studied.

Read the full project text (in Dutch) via this link

Jolien Vanhooren METOYOU 2023


Award 2022 - Charlotte Derpoorter - short summary of the project:

Pediatric cancer is rare, but still remains an important important cause of death among children. The most frequent type is leukemia, often acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Despite higher survival rates nowadays, the treatment is very intensive and responsible for many toxic and severe side effects. Therefore, there is need for more specific and less toxic therapies.

In the research team of Charlotte Derpoorter and colleagues, Piccolo (PCLO) was identified as a potential target protein (gene) for targeted therapy in acute leukemia. Amongst others, Piccolo is highly expressed in a specific subtype of ALL (ETV6-RUNX1 positive ALL). However, the exact role of Piccolo in normal cells and cancer development is not clear, and will therefore be studied in this research project. Experiments will also focus on the potential therapeutic value of Piccolo.

Read the full project text (in Dutch) via this link


MetoYou grant 2022