Research Groups

Fabienne Andris Group

Description of the research topics

Research in Fabienne Andris Group focuses on two main topics : 

  • Metabolic control of T cell activation
Pathways that control immune cell function and metabolism are intimately linked, and changes in the metabolic status of immune cells can determine the outcome immune responses. In particular, tumor tissues create suppressive metabolic microenvironments, which contribute to ineffective immune function. Recent studies have shown that successfully manipulating metabolic targets is sufficient to enhance or suppress specific T cell function, thereby offering therapeutic potential for many pathological processes including inflammation, autoimmune-associated diseases and cancer. We study the role of metabolic sensor enzymes in T cell activation, differentiation and plasticity with the aim to identify new facets of metabolism that could be targeted to improve adoptive transferred T cell fitness in cancer therapies.

  • Regulatory T cells
Excessive immune reactions can lead to the destruction of healthy tissues and cause auto-immune diseases. Regulatory T cells (or Tregs) are a subset of CD4+ lymphocytes that maintain immune homeostasis and organ function by suppressing immune responses. Tregs also expand in a variety of experimental mouse tumor models, as well as in human cancers, and are commonly hypothesized to promote cancer development via the suppression of anti-tumor immune responses. Similarly to conventional helper T cells, Tregs are phenotypically and functionally heterogeneous and recent advances in the field revealed specific adaptations in the transcriptome of Tregs migrating to tissues. We are interested in the mechanisms governing Treg differentiation, stability and function. In particular, we study the role of distinct transcription factors in the Treg control of intestinal homeostasis and colorectal cancer development.

Members

Principal Investigator

ANDRIS, Fabienne
PhD
Fabienne is a FNRS research associate. She investigates the molecular mechanisms underpinning the differentiation of CD4+ T cell subsets and the relationships between cell metabolism and immune response.

PhD Student

BOSSI, Lorenzo
PhD
Lorenzo obtained his Master degree in Molecular Biology of the Cell at the Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy) in 2018.He is recipient of a grant from the MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) Consortium “Antibacterial Innovative Training Network, BactiVax”.His PhD thesis, realized under the joined supervision of S. Giltaire at ImmunXperts, aims at monitoring immune responses induced in vitro to different antigenic formulations targeting multi-drug resistant bacteria
DREIDI, Hacene
PhD
Hacene obtained his Master degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Paris Diderot (France) and joined the lab in 2021. He is recipient of an FNRS/Télévie scholarship to study the mechanisms that regulate intestinal Treg subsets differentiation and their role in the control of intestinal homeostasis and colorectal cancer development.

Technician

DENANGLAIRE, Sébastien
BSc
Sébastien has a strong expertise in Flow Cytometry ranging from multicolor antibody panel conception to data analysis (classical analysis software and unsupervised clustering). He has also a broad expertise in cell culture and molecular biology.
02 650 98 78

Administrative staff

DECOT, Isabelle
Isabelle provides administrative support to different team members of the laboratory.
02 650 98 61

Master Student

AMAYAH, Imane
MSc
Imane is a Master student in Molecular Biology (Faculty of Sciences). She is doing her master thesis on metabolic control of T cell activation.

Previous Lab Member

HUSSEIN, Hind
PhD
Hind is a molecular biologist who joined the lab in 2016 and completed her PhD Thesis in 2020. She was funded by a FRIA scholarship to study the mechanisms that regulate the specification of intestinal regulatory T cells. Her work was published in Frontiers in Immunology, 2020. She is now Postdoctoral research scientist in the laboratory of Prof Guy Boeckxstaens at KU Leuven, where she works on intestinal inflammation
LEPEZ, Anouk
PhD
Anouk joined the lab in 2016. She was recipient of a FRIA scholarship to investigate the interplay between T cell metabolism and immune function. She has demonstrated that AMP-activated kinase controls mitochondrial fitness and promotes the proliferative capacity of T cells (published in Sc. Reports, 2020). She pursues her work as a Postdoc in the lab. of Prof. P. Romero at the University of Lausanne,where she develops new protocols of CAR-T cell development through modulation of cell metabolism