prof. An Hendrix (PhD)

CRIG group leader
An Hendrix

Principal investigator, Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research (UGent)
Assistant professor, Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research (UGent)
Founder and President of the Belgian Society for Extracellular Vesicles 


Research focus

Extracellular vesicles (EV) are membrane-enclosed communicative particles released in body fluids that carry cell-type-specific molecular patterns including nucleic acids and proteins. Knowledge on their origin, fate and function in the human body is required to accelerate therapeutic and diagnostic applications but hampered by a plethora of technological pitfalls (Hendrix, Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol, 2021). Hereto, my research group has developed a supporting ecosystem to mature EV into clinical applications (Hendrix and De Wever, EMBO J, 2019).

  • First, we have created the EV-TRACK knowledgebase and launched the EV-TRACK coaching tool to stimulate transparency and steer reproducibility (Van Deun et al., Nat Methods, 2017). It’s use is endorsed by the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) and included in the minimal information guidelines for EV.
  • Second, we have designed recombinant EV, that are easily trackable and distinguishable from sample EV, to support instrument calibration and data normalization (Geeurickx et al., Nat Commun, 2019; Nat Protoc, 2021).
  • Third, we have established reproducible protocols to separate EV from other interfering particles in body fluids (Tulkens et al., Nat Protoc, 2020).

This supporting ecosystem has steered my research group towards the pioneering discovery of systemic bacterial EV in non-septicemic patients, including cancer patients (Tulkens et al., Gut, 2020). The overarching goal of my research group is to the study the origin, fate and function of EV in the human body and exploit this know-how for the development of biomarker and therapeutic applications.


2005 Msc. bioscience engineering cell and gene biotechnology
2010 PhD health sciences

2005-2010: PhD student, Department of Medical Oncology, Ghent University
2010-2019: postdoctoral fellow, Department of Radiation Oncology and Experimental Cancer Research, Ghent University
Since 2017: assistant professor, Department of Human Structure and Repair, Ghent University

INSERM U482, 75571 Paris 12, France (2006)
Medical Genetics Branch, NHGRI, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, US (2007, 2008, 2009, 2015)
Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Calgary, Canada (2017)

Youth Travel Fund Grant from FEBS 2007
Travel Fellowship from European Association for Cancer Research 2008
Meeting Bursary from European Association for Cancer Research 2010
Paper of the Year Award from the Belgian Society for Medical Oncology 2010
Laureate Fundamental research award from the Belgian Royal Academies of Medicine 2013
Best oral presentation award at LKI symposium Liquid biopsies and cancer 2017
YIPOC grant from CRIG 2017
Laureate of Frans Van Cauwelaert award from the Belgian Royal Academies of Medicine 2019

Use of the GTPase Rab27B to diagnose and to treat poor prognosis estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer (PCT/EP2010/056542, 12.05.2010)Use of the GTPase Rab27B to diagnose and to treat poor prognosis estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer (WO2010130782A1)
Usages of recombinant extracellular vesicles (EP3483588)

Research team

Key publications

  • The nature of blood(y) extracellular vesicles. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2021;22(4):243.
  • Recombinant extracellular vesicles as biological reference material for method development, data normalization and assessment of (pre-)analytical variables. Nat Protoc. 2021;16(2):603-633.
  • Increased levels of systemic LPS-positive bacterial extracellular vesicles in patients with intestinal barrier dysfunction. Gut. 2020;69(1):191-193.
  • Analyzing bacterial extracellular vesicles in human body fluids by orthogonal biophysical separation and biochemical characterization. Nat Protoc. 2020;15(1):40-67.
  • Unravelling the proteomic landscape of extracellular vesicles in prostate cancer by density-based fractionation of urine. J Extracell Vesicles. 2020;9(1):1736935.
  • Targets, pitfalls and reference materials for liquid biopsy tests in cancer diagnostics. Mol Aspects Med. 2020;72:100828.
  • The generation and use of recombinant extracellular vesicles as biological reference material. Nat Commun. 2019;10(1):3288.
  • A supporting ecosystem to mature extracellular vesicles into clinical application. 2019;38(9):e101412.
  • EV-TRACK: transparent reporting and centralizing knowledge in extracellular vesicle research. Nat Methods. 2017;14(3):228-232.
  • The impact of disparate isolation methods for extracellular vesicles on downstream RNA profiling. J Extracell Vesicles. 2014;3.


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