dr. Tim Pieters (PhD)

CRIG group leader
Tim Pieters

Post-doctoral researcher – Lab of normal and malignant hematopoiesis, Center for Medical Genetics (UGent)
Principal investigator: prof. Steven Goossens (PhD) and prof. Panos Ntziachristos (PhD)


Research focus

My research can be divided in two main topics, including modeling of blood cancers in mice and using them for preclinical drug testing.
First, I develop genetically engineered mouse models that recapitulate different types of blood cancer. These models are based on genetic events that are observed in blood cancer patients.  I developed an optimized and efficient pipeline for the generation of novel conditional overexpression mouse models in which putative oncogenes, along with an eGFP/Luciferase dual reporter, are expressed from the endogenous ROSA26 (R26) promoter. We use these models to functionally validate putative novel oncogenic drivers and to established mouse models for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) that are driven by expression of MN1, Myb and Ccnd2 and SOX11, respectively.
Second, by identifying the cell-of-origin of these malignancies and understanding their underlying molecular mechanisms, we try to identify druggable vulnerabilities.  Next, we use these preclinical models for evaluation of novel therapeutic strategies for different types of blood cancers (listed above). To do so, we transplant luciferase-positive murine blood cancer cells into immunocompromised mice and monitor tumor formation and drug response using bioluminescence. 

Research team

Key publications

  • Cyclin D2 overexpression drives B1a-derived MCL-like lymphoma in mice. J Exp Med. 2021
  • Novel strategy for rapid functional in vivo validation of oncogenic drivers in haematological malignancies. Scientific Reports, 2019
  • Genetic characterization and therapeutic targeting of MYC-rearranged T cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Br J Haematol, 2019
  • LEDGF/p75 is dispensable for hematopoiesis but essential for MLL-rearranged leukemogenesis. Blood, 2018
  • Structure-function studies in mouse embryonic stem cells using recombinase-mediated cassette exchange. JoVE, 2017

Contact & links

  • Lab address: UZ Gent, MRB2 (entrance 38), Corneel Heymanslaan 10, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Can provide for other researchers: Generation of animal models for preclinical cancer research
  • Tim Pieters is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks