Yasmine Bader

CRIG member
Yasmine Bader

Doctoral fellow - Department of bioanalysis, Centre of Excellence in Mycotoxicology & Public Health – Clinical Mycotoxicology (UGent)
Principal investigators: prof. Marthe De Boevre (PhD) & prof. Sarah De Saeger (PhD) 

Research focus

Mycotoxins are toxic fungal secondary metabolites that can induce several toxic effects in humans: inducing carcinogenesis, DNA damage and affecting specific organs like the kidneys, liver and intestines. Chronic low-dose intake of multiple mycotoxins are hypothesized to result in an increased risk of developing renal, hepatocellular and intestinal carcinomas. The link between mycotoxin exposure and cancer risk has mainly been established in experimental studies, and needs to be confirmed in human epidemiological studies to support the evidence-based public health strategies. Therefore, the ERC-funded HUMYCO project aims to investigate the risk for renal, hepatocellular and colorectal cancer caused by low-dose exposure of multiple mycotoxins by uniting large-scale epidemiological and mechanistic designs using poly-omics approach. 

The aim of our project is to set newly hypothesis-driven insights into the link of multiple mycotoxin exposure and human carcinomas. It is important to conduct accurate exposure assessments of mycotoxins at an individual-level to completely understand the health concerns in humans. Therefore, mycotoxin exposure biomarkers are used in vitro, and validated using human intervention studies by explaining human mycotoxicokinetic profiles via metabolomics.  In addition, the scope and nature of associations between external and internal dietary exposure to multiple mycotoxins and the development of renal,  hepatocellular and colorectal human carcinomas will be examined by large-scale epidemiological bio-cohorts. Furthermore, cause-and-effect relationships between multiple mycotoxin exposure and cancer will be elucidated through genetic analysis. For this purpose genome-wide mutation spectra associated with multi-exposure to suspected carcinogenic mycotoxins will be determined experimentally. These mycotoxin-induced genome mutations will be identified in mice and humans cell lines by obtaining whole-genome sequencing. 

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