prof. Geert van Loo (PhD)

CRIG group leader
Geert Van Loo

Principal investigator - Unit Cellular and Molecular (Patho)physiology - VIB Inflammation Research Center
Senior lecturer (Faculty of Sciences, UGent)


Research focus

Chronic inflammation strongly contributes to tumor initiation and progression, and many of the tumor-promoting effects of inflammation depend on the activation of NF-κB dependent genes encoding cytokines, growth factors, survival proteins and others. Interference with NF-κB signalling therefore represents a potential therapeutic approach. Through cell specific gene knockout approaches in mice, we investigate in vivo the role of specific inflammatory signaling pathways (NF-kB, autophagy, ER stress), and the involvement of important regulatory proteins, in different models of chronic inflammation and inflammation-induced cancer.


Geert van Loo obtained a Master in Bioengineering in Chemistry in 1994, a Master in Biotechnology in 1996, and a PhD in Biotechnology in 2002 at Gent University.
During his PhD, which he performed in the research group of Dr. Peter Vandenabeele (Gent University and VIB),  Geert focussed on signalling pathways and molecular mechanisms controlling apoptotic and necrotic cell death, and the involvement of mitochondria in both processes.
After his PhD, he moved to Italy for a postdoc at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) - Mouse Biology Unit, in the research group of Dr. Manolis Pasparakis.
During this postdoc he used “state of the art” gene targeting technology in mice to understand the function of signalling pathways involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases.
In 2006, Geert returned to Gent University and VIB where he joined the research group of Dr. Rudi Beyaert, where thanks to an FWO Odysseus grant, he could setup his own research unit.
In 2011, Geert became Professor at the University of Gent, and in 2015 group leader at the VIB.

Research team

Key publications

  • Slowicka, K., Serramito-Gómez, I., Boada-Romero, E., Martens, A., Sze, M., Petta, I., Vikkula, H.K., De Rycke, R., Parthoens, E., Lippens, S., Savvides, S.N., Wullaert, A., Vereecke, L., Pimentel-Muiños, F.X. and van Loo, G. (2019) ; Physical and functional interaction between A20 and ATG16L1-WD40 domain in the control of intestinal homeostasis. Nat. Commun., 10 (1), 1834. 
  • A20 prevents chronic liver inflammation and cancer by protecting hepatocytes from death. Cell Death Dis., 2016. (PMID: 27253414)
  • The pro-survival IKK-related kinase IKKε integrates LPS and IL-17A signaling cascades to promote Wnt-dependent tumor development in the intestine. Cancer Res., 2016. (PMID: 26980769)
  • A20 controls intestinal homeostasis through cell-specific activities. Nat. Commun., 2014. (PMID: 25267258)
  • RIPK1 ensures intestinal homeostasis by protecting the epithelium against apoptosis. Nature, 2014. (PMID: 25186904)
  • Endothelial CCR2 signaling induced by colon carcinoma cells licenses extravasation via the JAK2-Stat5 and p38MAPK pathway. Cancer Cell, 2012. (PMID: 22789541)
  • Deletion of NEMO/IKK in liver parenchymal cells causes steatohepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer Cell, 2007. (PMID: 17292824)

Contact & links