Silke Geurs

CRIG member
Silke Geurs

Doctoral fellow – SynBioC Research Group, Department of Green Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, UGent
Principal investigators: prof. Matthias D'hooghe (PhD) and prof. Karolien De Bosscher (PhD)


Research focus

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a deadly, incurable haematologic cancer and its incidence will rise to a number of about 50 000 patients in Europe by 2030. On top of that, current treatments go along with severe side effects, underlining the need for new therapeutics that work via a novel mode of action.
Therefore, we aim to develop a novel therapeutic strategy by targeting the enzyme histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6). HDAC6 is an enzyme with a wide variety of substrates and interaction partners, which makes it an important regulator of diverse cellular processes and, in case of aberrant function, an actor in several diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and inflammation. Inhibitors will be developed to selectively target HDAC6 because it is a key regulator in aggresome formation, which represents an important cell survival strategy and is believed to contribute to MM therapy resistance. In this project, the MM expertise present in the group of prof. De Bosscher will be combined with the elaborate knowledge regarding HDAC6 in the lab of prof. D’hooghe to create a strategic therapeutic opportunity. 

Key publications

  • ‘Selective pharmacological inhibitors of HDAC6 reveal biochemical activity but no functional tolerance in cancer models’, International Journal of Cancer, 2019. (PMID: 30694564)
  • ‘Assessment of the trifluoromethyl ketone functionality as an alternative zinc-binding group for selective HDAC6 inhibition’, MedChemComm, 2018, (PMID: 30108990)

Contact & links

  • Lab address: SynBioC Research Group, B Building, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Gent
  • LinkedIn
  • Silke Geurs is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks