Simone Janssen

CRIG member
Simone Janssen

Doctoral Fellow – Veterinary Surgical Oncology, Soft Tissue Surgery, Small Animal Department
Small animal veterinarian – (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University)

Principal investigator: prof. Hilde De Rooster (PhD)

Research focus

During surgical removal of a solid tumor, the surgeon can only rely on its vision and palpation to determine the demarcation of a tumor and its invasiveness. Fluorescence-guided surgery is a technique which may aid the surgeon in real-time by lighting up the cancerous tissue during surgery. However, during conventional fluorescence-guided surgery, only the light intensity itself is being measured and false positive results due to scattering in surrounding tissue may take place. My current research focuses on the timescale behavior of the fluorescence light (i.e., the fluorescence lifetime or FLT) as a different but complementary part of fluorescence-guided surgery. The FLT resembles the duration of the excitation state of the molecule, which is injected prior to surgery to light up the cancerous tissue. The FLT will change depending on alterations in the environment (e.g., the oxygen concentration or pH). This could be of great importance in guiding the surgeon during various procedures. The first part of my research will focus on the use of FLT to measure the oxygen levels in tissue by using an experimental partial nephrectomy model in pigs. Furthermore, I will assess whether the FLT is able to accurately differentiate between tumor fluorescence and non-specific and healthy-tissue fluorescence during surgery in client-owned dogs with solid cancer. In addition, my research focuses on the added value of the FLT when used in combination with nanobody tracers. The outcome of this research will not only be important for veterinary surgical oncology, but it will also have translational value.


I graduated as a veterinary surgeon from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ghent University. During my final two years as a veterinary medicine student, I received ample clinical training, both at the faculty and in private practices, where I preferentially joined colleagues that dealt with a high caseload of oncology patients. In addition, I worked with great enthusiasm on my master thesis about whole body thermal therapy in canine cancer patients with disseminated disease. Meanwhile, I received training in several laboratory techniques.  

Contact & links

  • Address: Small Animal Department (DI09), Faculty of Veterinary Meddicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke
  • Simone Janssen is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks