prof. Pieter Van Vlierberghe (PhD)

CRIG group leader
Pieter Van Vlierberghe

Principal investigator - Lab Normal and Malignant Hematopoiesis, Center for Medical Genetics (UGent)
Associate professor (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent)


Research focus

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most prevalent type of cancer in children with about 150 new cases diagnosed in Belgium each year. These aggressive haematological tumors are currently treated with high-dose chemotherapy. Although cure rates for children with leukemia have increased towards 80% over the last years, these intensive treatment regimens come with a price and are associated with considerable side effects at later age, including infertility, loss of intelectual capacity and the development of secondary tumors. Therefore, our laboratory investigates the molecular basis of childhood leukemia as a prerequisite for the identification of novel therapeutic targets that could eventually results in the development of less toxic drugs for the treatment of childhood cancer.    

Research team

  • prof. Pieter Van Vlierberghe - principal investigator, associate professor
  • Lisa Demoen - doctoral fellow 
  • dr. Maaike Van Trimpont (PhD) - post-doctoral researcher
  • Stien De Coninck - doctoral fellow
  • André Pedro Pinto De Almeida - doctoral fellow
  • Lien Provez - doctoral fellow
  • Bruno Palhais - doctoral fellow
  • Bert Luyckx - doctoral fellow
  • dr. Luca Pagliaro (MD) - doctoral fellow
  • Yanti De Visser - doctoral fellow
  • Béatrice Lintermans - technician
  • Lindy Reunes - technician

Key publications

  • Targeting cytokine- and therapy-induced PIM1 activation in preclinical models of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and lymphoma‎. BLOOD 2020
  • Aging of Preleukemic Thymocytes Drives CpG Island Hypermethylation in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia‎. BLOOD 2020
  • Chemotherapy at the wheel of ALL relapse‎. BLOOD 2020
  • ZEB2 drives immature T-cell lymphoblastic leukaemia development via enhanced tumour-initiating potential and IL-7 receptor signalling. Nature Communications 2015. (PMID: 25565005)
  • Contrasting roles of histone 3 lysine 27 demethylases in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Nature 2014. (PMID: 25132549)
  • Prognostic relevance of integrated genetic profiling in acute myeloid leukemia. New England Journal of Medicine 2012. (PMID: 22417203)
  • Genetic inactivation of the polycomb repressive complex 2 in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Nature Medicine 2012. (PMID: 22237151)
  • A cooperative microRNA-tumor suppressor gene network in acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). Nature Genetics 2011. (PMID: 21642990)
  • Integrated transcript and genome analyses reveal NKX2-1 and MEF2C as potential oncogenes in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Cancer Cell 2011. (PMID: 21481790)
  • Late recurrence of childhood T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia frequently represents a second leukemia rather than a relapse: first evidence for genetic predisposition. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2011. (PMID: 21357790)

Contact & links