Nayra Herreira do Valle

CRIG member
Nayra Herreira do Valle

Doctoral Fellow - Surgical Oncology, Department of Small Animals (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UGent)
Principal investigator: prof. Hilde De Rooster (PhD)


Research focus

For the majority of solid cancers, surgical removal remains the main anti-cancer therapy with the aim to completely remove all tumoural tissue. Therefore, the use of a fluorescent agent that highlights the tumour cells in real-time may facilitate resection of solid cancers. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), overexpressed in various types of malignancies, in particular in head and neck cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), has been demonstrated to be a relevant biomarker to distinguish malignant from healthy cells, resulting in high tumour-to-background contrasted images during real-time fluorescence-guided surgery (FGS).
During my research, we will use fluorescent-labeled anti-EGFR Nanobodies during fluorescence-guided surgery in dogs with naturally occurring cancer, a relevant but still severely underexploited preclinical model for advancing human patient anti-cancer strategies. When fluorescent contrast agents can successfully identify malignant cells in dogs with cancer, it is likely that these agents will succeed in clinical trials in human patients with a similar tumour type, possibly reducing the need for adjuvant therapy and associated morbidity, and to increasing survival time.


Graduated from Sao Paulo State University in Veterinary Medicine. During graduation, received two consecutive research grants from FAPESP (translate) at the Epigenomics Lab, where I was able to conduct research in lncRNA expression in Canine Urothelial Carcinoma and integrative analysis of microRNA-mRNA in canine mammary tumours.

Contact & links

  • Lab Address: Small Animal department, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke
  • Nayra Cristina Herreira do Valle is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks