Research Groups

Stanislas Goriely Group

Description of the research topics

We are trying to understand how basic molecular mechanisms impact the differentiation and function of immune cells and how they can be exploited in the context of inflammation, infections or cancer.

Research in our laboratory includes the following areas:
  • Molecular mechanisms involved in the control of inflammation
The inflammatory response, elicited by pathogens or danger signals is critical for the initiation of immune responses. It involves molecules that will directly target infectious organisms and mediators such as chemokines and cytokines that will attract and educate other immune cells. This process has to be tightly controlled as acute inflammation can lead to tissue damage and chronic inflammatory states that are associated with a broad range of diseases, including autoimmunity, atherosclerosis and cancer. A few key cytokines that are expressed by the mononuclear phagocyte system (monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells) help dictate the type of adaptive immune response elicited in response to a pathogen.
We are interested in the developmental plasticity of the mononuclear phagocyte system and the control of cytokine production in the context of infection, chronic inflammation and cancer. These projects focus on the role of epigenetic regulation and mRNA destabilization. They involve transcriptomic and epigenomic approaches, pre-clinical animal models, the development of a humanized mice platform and collaborations with clinicians. Recently, we also evaluate the impact of infections (such as SARS-Cov2) on innate immune cell function.
  • Transcriptional control of CD8 T cell differentiation
In the context of acute infection or immunization, naïve CD8 T cells that encounter their cognate antigen in lymphoid organs undergo expansion and activation. In a matter of days, they acquire expression of effector functions that contribute to pathogen clearance. While the majority of primed T cells undergo terminal differentiation into effector cells and ultimately die, a few percent will form long-lived memory after the infection is cleared. Such memory cells are epigenetically programmed for more rapid and effective response upon re-stimulation with antigen. However, in the context of cancer, persistent antigenic stimulation and tumor-derived immunosuppressive factors may lead to alteration of these differentiation steps and progressive loss of effector functions. In the last decade, tremendous efforts have been dedicated to define the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in these physiological and pathological processes. We are trying to define the transcriptional and epigenetic basis of memory formation and cancer-related dysfunction. We are particularly interested in the role of Eomesodermin, a key transcription factor that regulates T cell differentiation.

Members

Principal Investigator

GORIELY, Stanislas
PhD, MD
Stanislas was trained as a medical doctor at the ULB. He is a FNRS senior research associate. 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.

Postdoctoral Fellow

AZOUZ, Abdulkader
PhD
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.
DETAVERNIER, Aurélie
PhD
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.
DUBOIS, Ingrid
PhD
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

PhD Student

ASSABBAN, Assiya
MSc
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.
BRAUNS, Elisa
MD
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.
LE MOINE, Marie
MD
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.
PEDRON, Annabelle
MSc
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.
VILLANUEVA ALCANTARA, Aresio
MSc
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.
WEICHSELBAUM, Laura
MD
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).

Technician

MARTENS, Vincent
MSc
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.
NGUYEN, Muriel
BSc
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
BSc
Séverine has a strong expertise in immunomonitoring. She is in charge of the Flow Cytometry and cell sorting platform.

Administrative staff

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.
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RAMI, Abdelkader
Abdel is in charge of the maintenance of the equipments in the institute.
VILAIN, Laurence
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Master Student

LOBO, Milan
BSc
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.

Previous Lab Member

ALALUF, Emmanuelle
MD
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.
DI CAMPLI, Maria-Pia
MD
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.
LA, Caroline
MD
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
MD
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
SHALA, Valdrin
BSc
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.
SPLITTGERBER, Marion
MSc
Marion is specialized in bio-informatics. She helps the different teams to process and analyse transcriptomic and epigenetic data.