prof. Sven Eyckerman (PhD)
expert scientist - VIB Center of Medical Biotechnology
associate professor (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent)
Our research team focuses on technology development with a main interest in protein complexes. All processes in the cell rely on interactions between biomolecules. Despite the myriad of technologies already available to address interactions between proteins, there are still some important limitations. We try to push this so-called interactomics field forward by creating technologies that eliminate the shortcomings from existing technologies. Our Virotrap platform aims at capturing the intracellular protein complex in virus-like particles that are budded from the cells. This eliminates the need for lysis of the host cells, a common and drastic step that affects protein complex integrity. To enable research of endogenous protein complexes, we use genome engineering technology (mainly CRISPR-Cas9) to introduce epitope tags or functional enzymatic activities on the proteins of interest. For example, endogenous implementation of proximal biotinylation (a method called bioID) on key cancer proteins (i.e. p53) and their mutants using advanced experimental designs now enables us to comprehensively map the complete protein complex in a single experiment.
Combined, these technologies will allow us to get a high resolution and high confidence view on protein complexes in the cell, both in normal and disease conditions. Such information is essential to design drugs that interfere with the pathways affected in disease. In fact, we have invested in technology variants that allow cancer drug profiling and we are now also generating advanced in vitro model systems to study protein complexes in cancer, aiding drug discovery and drug development efforts. We collaborate with several groups within and outside CRIG on several questions related to different cancers. We also collaborate with other groups in CRIG on general proteomics technologies, biomarker discovery and extracellular vesicle biology.
- PhD: Ghent Univ., Ghent, Belgium, 2002
- Postdoc: Swiss Inst. for Experimental Cancer Res. (ISREC), Lausanne, Switzerland, 2004-06
- Sr Scientist: Pronota NV, Ghent, Belgium, 2006-09
- Postdoc: VIB, Jan Tavernier and Kris Gevaert Lab, Ghent, 2008-14
- VIB Expert Technologist since January 2015
- Vandemoortele et al. J Proteome Res. 2019 Jan 4;18(1):95-106.
- Steklov et al. Science. 2018 Dec 7;362(6419):1177-1182.
- Melanoma addiction to the long non-coding RNA SAMMSON. Nature, 2016, PMID:27008969
- Bcl9/Bcl9l are critical for Wnt-mediated regulation of stem cell traits in colon epithelium and adenocarcinomas. Cancer Research, 2010, PMID:20682801