Jolien De Waele

CRIG member
Jolien De Waele

Doctoral fellow – Lab for Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation (UGent, UZGent)
Doctoral fellow – Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics (UGent)
Principal investigators: prof. Tim Lammens (PhD)prof. Barbara De Moerloose (MD, PhD) and dr. Mattias Hofmans (MD, PhD)


Research focus

Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is a rare and aggressive form of early childhood leukemia that shows both myelodysplastic and myeloproliferative properties. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation remains the standard of care, however event-free survival is poor. In over 90% of JMML patients, germline or somatic mutations in genes involved in the RAS signaling pathway can be found. But these mutations, nor additional secondary mutations, are unable to fully explain the phenotypic and prognostic heterogeneity of the disease. Recently it was shown that JMML patients can be classified in distinct classes of DNA methylation patterns where hypermethylation was shown to correlate with poor prognosis. Our research group has focused on the transcriptome of JMML patients and found that (non-) coding RNAs as well as circular RNAs play an important role in the pathogenesis. My PhD project aims to confirm and expand the generated circRNA data and to explore potential therapeutic applications. Furthermore, a full transcriptome and histone post-translational modification profile in patients with known genomic and DNA methylation profiles will be generated. These efforts will allow full integration of clinical, genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic data in JMML patients. Integration of this data will aid in refining risk stratification and in identification of novel molecular targets with biomarker and/or therapeutic potential. Overall the project aims to elucidate JMML development and progression through integration of -omics data and hopes to result in a clinical benefit for JMML patients. 


  • 2023-Present: PhD candidate in Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University (promotors: Prof. Barbara De Moerloose, Prof. Tim Lammens and Dr. Mattias Hofmans)
  • 2020-2023: Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Mechanisms of Diseases, Antwerp University
  • 2019-2021: Bridging program Biomedical Sciences, Antwerp University
  • 2016-2023: Medical Lab Technician, Lab for Molecular Hematology Oncology, Ghent University Hospital
  • 2013-2016:  Bachelor’s degree Medical Laboratory Technician, Odisee Ghent

Contact & links

  • Lab address: Ghent University Hospital, Ingang 10, Route 1034, Department of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
  • Lab for pediatric Hematology-Oncology 
  • LinkedIn 
  • Jolien De Waele is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks