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.

  • CD8+ T cells selectively detect and eradicate cancer cells. However, tumor infiltrating lymphocytes become dysfunctional (or exhausted) over the course of tumorigenesis, leading to cancer evasion to the immune response.
    T cells express distinct profiles of exhaustion in response to a persistent antigen (as observed in autoimmunity, chronic viral infection, cancer,…). How the tumor microenvironment specifically contributes to the irreversible dysfunction (or “terminally exhaustion”) of tumor infiltrating T lymphocytes is still poorly described. Our group investigates the genetic, epigenetic and metabolic changes underpinning tumor-driven T cell exhaustion in the context of a mouse model of hepatocarcinoma. We also evaluate the role of liver resident memory T cells in the therapeutic response to immune checkpoint inhibitors and their potential relationships with exhausted T cells.


Principal Investigator

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

PhD Student

BOSSI, Lorenzo
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
Solange obtained her Master degree in BBMC at ULB in 2022. She obtained a fellowship from the FNRS to study genes and pathways implicated in T lymphocyte (dys)function in the liver.
DREIDI, Hacene
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 drive T cell exhaustion in the context of hepatocarcinoma.
Soren obtained his master degree in BBMC at ULB in 2023 and is recipient of an FNRS/Télévie scholarship. His PhD aims at characterizing the effects of immune chekpoint inhibitors in the physiology of the liver immune response.


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

Lune is a Master student in Molecular Biology (Faculty of Sciences). She is doing her master thesis on CD27 pathway- and Eomes transcription factor-driven T cell exhaustion.
Paule is a Master student in Molecular Biology at U-Charleroi (Faculties of Sciences of ULB and UMons). Her master thesis aims at identifying experimental conditions driving the development of resident memory and exhausted T cells in vitro and in vivo.

Previous Lab Member

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
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