doctoral fellow - Lab for cancer predisposition and precision oncology, Center for Medical Genetics Ghent (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent)
Principal investigator: prof. Kathleen Claes (PhD)
My research focuses on cancer predisposition in patients with Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases (PIDs). PIDs are life-threatening genetic disorders of the immune system. A subset of PIDs is caused by mutations in genes involved in DNA repair. Affected patients can be radiosensitive (RS) since they are unable to repair radiation-induced DNA damage. Consequently, these patients often have an increased risk to develop cancer. For many reasons PID patients are exposed to radiation (bone marrow transplantation, radiotherapy, diagnostic imaging), which may pose serious risk to RS subjects.
In this project I will apply a combination of techniques (whole exome sequencing (WES), whole genome sequencing (WGS), RNAseq) in PID patients with features linked to malignancy or with hints of defective DNA repair. I aim to search for new candidate disease genes to explain the increased cancer risk and/or increased radiosensitivity in these PID patients.
I obtained a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences with a major in Medical Genetics in 2018 (MSc, UGent). After graduation, I became a full-time doctoral fellow at the lab of Kathleen Claes; researching cancer predisposition in patients with a primary immunodeficiency disease (PID).