Research Groups

Stanislas Goriely Group

Description of the research topics

In the last decade, immunotherapy has revolutionized the care of cancer patients. However, some types of cancer respond very poorly to these approaches and others develop resistance during treatment. While the presence of cytotoxic T lymphocytes infiltrating the tumor is a good prognostic factor (these immune cells are responsible for the recognition and destruction of tumor cells), a high density of macrophages is generally unfavorable.
Macrophages that reside in the different tissues of the body play the role of sentinels as they detect and eliminate invading microbial pathogens (viruses, bacteria, etc.). They are also involved in wound healing processes and play a critical role in metabolic functions (e.g. Iron or Lipids). In the context of cancer, macrophages are often exploited by tumor cells so that they participate to their metabolic needs, for example by promoting angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels). Furthermore, they exert immunosuppressive functions, preventing the response to treatments and in particular to immunotherapy. Understanding how and why macrophages behave in this way is therefore an important research challenge in the field of cancer.
Researchers have long been confronted with major difficulties: On the one hand, the macrophages of the tumor microenvironment form very heterogeneous and plastic populations, limiting the extrapolation of data generated from cell culture (in vitro approaches). On the other hand, there are important differences between human and murine macrophages. Thus, many phenomena observable in preclinical models in mice (in vivo approaches) cannot be directly transposed to humans. It is possible to work directly on samples from human tumors, but this is limited to observational and descriptive studies.
To meet this challenge, the laboratory has recently set up “humanized” mouse models. These mice express human genes coding for the growth factors that are required for the development of immune cells. This approach allows to create a functional immune system when these mice are implanted with human stem cells. Much closer to clinical reality, these models offer fascinating research perspectives in immuno-oncology. By recapitulating a human tumor microenvironment, this innovative approach will allow us to study the function of human macrophages as well as their interactions with tumor and other immune cells. We will thus be able to identify and validate clinically transposable therapeutic targets in humans and evaluate the efficacy of potential candidates. To understand the heterogeneity of these complex cell populations, we will use molecular approaches on single cells, a  methodology that is particularly useful in answering the questions that are raised. Access to clinical samples will also allow us to validate the relevance of these targets in human tumors. Our goal is to understand the biology of these cells and to reprogram them to promote anti-tumor responses.


Principal Investigator

GORIELY, Stanislas
Stanislas was trained as a medical doctor at the ULB. He is a FNRS research Director. His initial works focused on the regulation of interleukin-12 family members during health and disease. Recent works address the developmental plasticity of the mononuclear phagocyte system and the control of cytokine production in the context of infection, chronic inflammation and cancer.
WILLEMS, Fabienne
Fabienne is Professor at the ULB and lecturer at the UMONS where she teaches immunology. Her initial works focused on signaling pathways regulating inflammatory responses in humans. This led her to study the ontogeny of the human immune system and to decipher the early molecular signatures predicting the development of the adaptive immune response to vaccine adjuvants. Recent works address the role of epigenetic and transcriptional changes in myeloid cells in the context of vaccination.

Postdoctoral Fellow

AZOUZ, Abdulkader
Abdulkader joined the lab in 2014 to work on memory CD8 T cells. He has a strong expertise in epigenetics. Although he was trained as a biologist, he also performs bio-informatic analysis for ATAC-Seq, ChIP-Seq and scRNA-Seq analysis in the lab.
BIZET, Martin
Martin is a senior bioinformatician with strong expertise in epigenetic and transcriptomic. He leads a project on the prediction of vaccine responses in cohorts of susceptible patients.
Aurélie joined the lab in 2014 as a PhD student. Her thesis focused on monocyte differentiation in the context of Toxoplasma gondii infection. Since November 2019, she is in charge of developing humanized mice models to study the biology of human tumor-associated macrophages.
Florian is bio-informatician. He took his PhD in 2024 in the lab of Decio Eizirik and Miriam Cnop on human pancreatic beta cell transcriptional network. He joined the team to work on Systems vaccinology projects together with Martin.

PhD Student

Elisa joined the lab in 2019. She is training in hematology and obtained a fellowship from the FNRS to work on antigen-specific and bystander tumor-infiltrating CD8 T cells. She is now also actively working on immune responses to COVID-19 infection.
Emmanuelle joined the lab to work on the role of heme oxygenase-1 in human TAMs. She obtained a Télévie scholarship to start her PhD in October 2022.
LA, Céline
Céline is doing her internship in rhumatology. She joined the lab in 2021 to work on the role of innate and innate-like lymphoid cells in joint inflammation. This project is a collaborative effort with the lab of Dirk Elewaut in Ghent.
Maxime is MD and works in Rheumatology. He obtained a research grant from the Fonds Erasme to better understand the biology of human innate and “innate-like” lymphoid subpopulations using humanised mouse models that recapitulate the ontogeny of these cells in vivo.
PEDRON, Annabelle
Annabelle obtained her Master in Immunology in Paris. She joined the lab in 2021 to start a PhD on functional reprogramming of human macrophages in the tumor microenvironment.
Arthur obtained his internship in internal medicine and infectious diseases. He joined the lab in 2021 to work on the influence of herpesviruses such as EBV on the immune system using humanised mouse models in the frame of a collaboration with the team of Bénédicte Machiels from the University of Liège.
Florian started his PhD in March 2024 to work on the transcriptional regulation of tumor-associated macrophages. He develops advanced 3D spheroid models with the aim to recapitulate the biology of these cells in vitro.


NGUYEN, Muriel
Muriel has a broad expertise with cell culture, basic and advanced molecular biology, sample preparation… She also plays a key role in the managment of the lab.
THOMAS, Séverine
Séverine has a strong expertise in immunomonitoring. She is in charge of the Flow Cytometry and cell sorting platform.

Administrative staff

DECOT, Isabelle
Isabelle provides administrative support to different team members of the laboratory.
02 650 98 61
PAULART, Frédéric
Fred is our lab manager; he has multiple key roles in the institute, including maintaining and developing the technological platforms and ensuring the best environment for the researchers.
RAMI, Abdelkader
Abdel is in charge of the maintenance of the equipments in the institute.
VILAIN, Laurence

Master Student

NARDIN, Antoine
Antoine is a 3rd year engineering student from AgroParisTech. He will spend a 6-month internship working on advanced in vitro models of Tumor-associated Macrophages.

Previous Lab Member

ALALUF, Emmanuelle
Emmanuelle is training in internal medicine and oncology. She obtained a scholarship from the Fonds Erasme in 2015. She started her PhD under the supervision of Alain Le Moine to work the role of Heme Oxygenase 1 in tumor-associated macrophages and defended her thesis on Sept 29 2020 and authored a paper in JCI Insight on the topic.
Assiya joined the lab in 2014. She obtained a FRIA scholarship to work on the role of inflammation in tumor development. She demonstrated the role of Tristetraprolin in the control of carcinogen-induced skin tumors.
Antoine joined the lab to do his master thesis on the development of tumor-associated macrophages in humanized mice.
DE TOEUF, Bérengère
Bérengère joined the lab in 2014. She obtained a FRIA scholarship to prepare a PhD on the post-trancriptional regulation of gene expression during cellular adaptation to stress with a special focus on the role of the Tristetraprolin protein in controlling mRNA degradation. Bérengère graduated in 2019 and continue her work in the lab as a post-doctoral researcher.
DI CAMPLI, Maria-Pia
Pia joined the lab in 2016. She is training as a thoracic surgeon. She was supported by the Fonds Erasme and then obtained a FRIA scholarship to work on the origin of myofibroblasts in the context of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome- a dreadful complication of lung transplantation. She is using fate-mapping approaches, confocal microscopy and single-cell transcriptomics in this context. Pia defended her PhD on Sept 10 2020 and published her work in the European Respiratory Journal.
DUBOIS, Ingrid
Ingrid joined the lab in 2019 to work on the role of mRNA stability in tumor development. She has a strong expertise with mouse models and in vivo studies
LA, Caroline
Caroline is training in internal medicine with an interest in nephrology. She obtained an FNRS Research fellowship to work initially on the molecular mechanisms regulating ischemia-reperfusion injury under the supervision of Alain Le Moine. Supported by the Fonds Erasme, she then worked in the lab on gut and skin immune homeostasis in a model of spontaneous inflammation. Caroline defended her PhD work on September 9 2020 and published her work in JCI Insight and Mucosal Immunology
LE, Aurore
Aurore joined the lab in 2016. She graduated as a dermatologist and obtained a FRIA scholarship to work on physiopathology of psoriasis. She is using the classical imiquimod-induced skin inflammation model to look at the role of JNK1 in different cellular compartments. Aurore defended her PhD on December 1, 2020 and published her work in Frontiers in Immunology
Marie joined the lab in 2018. She is training in internal medicine and obtained a fellowship from the FNRS to work on the transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of CD8 T cell differentiation. In particular, she is studying the role of Eomes in infection and tumor models.
LOBO, Milan
Milan is a master student in Molecular Biology (Faculty of Sciences). He is doing his master thesis on human Tumor-associated macrophages under the supervision of Aurélie Detavernier.
MARTENS, Vincent
Vincent joined the lab in 2020 to help with the development of the humanized mice platform. He manages the numerous mouse colonies of the team.
SHALA, Valdrin
Valdrin has decided to join our lab during his final year of medicine. He worked under the supervision of Marie Le Moine on T cell exhaustion in a model of hepatocarcinoma.
Marion is specialized in bio-informatics. She helps the different teams to process and analyse transcriptomic and epigenetic data.
Aresio joined the lab in 2019 as a PhD student. He works on the role of innate lymphoid cells in chronic inflammation in collaboration with the teams of Guillaume Oldenhove and Cyril Gueydan.
Laura joined the lab in 2015 as an FNRS Research fellow. She is trained as a gastro-enterologist and works with patients that suffer from hepatic cirrhosis. Her project aims at the identification of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to the susceptibility of these patients to infection. This project is led in collaboration with Thierry Gustot (hôpital Erasme and Laboratoire de Gastro-entérologie expérimentale).