VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

Science directors: Diether Lambrechts & Jean-Christophe Marine

The Center for Cancer Biology has focused since 15 years its research interests on unraveling the molecular basis of angiogenesis (i.e. the formation of blood vessels) and translating these genetic insights in therapeutic concepts – and, if possible, novel treatments. Since recently, the center has broadened its scope of interest and is now genuinely interested in the neurovascular linke in health and disease.

Therefore, the center uses interdisciplinary functional genomic and genetic research strategies, from the bench to the bedside, and back again. Clinical cancer trials with antibodies against PlGF, a disease-specific angiogenic factor with high safety profile, have started in the mean time.
The center aspires to address medically relevant questions and study important biological processes via interdisciplinary basic research. By unraveling the genetic basis, we hope to deconvolute complex biological diseases into definable targets, that can be used for development of novel therapeutic concepts. The longterm objectives of the center are:

VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology

Scientists & research:

  • Patrizia Agostinis Lab
    Cancer cell death - autophagy - anti-tumor immunity - ER stress/contact sites - tumor microenvironment
  • Gabriele Bergers Lab
    cancer - tumor microenvironmental, angiogenesis, inflammation - mouse models of glioblastoma - pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors - breast cancer
  • Peter Carmeliet Lab
    angiogenesis - endothelial/vascular metabolism - multi-omics analysis - cancer - metabolomics - tissue regeneration
  • Jan Cools Lab
    leukemia - oncogene - tyrosine kinase - therapy - drug screen
  • Metabolomics Expertise Lab
    metabolism - mass spectrometry - chromatography - 13C tracer incorporation - angiogenesis
  • Sarah-Maria Fendt Lab
    cancer metabolism - metabolic regulation - metabolic syndrome - fluxomics - metabolomics
  • Holger Gerhardt Lab
    vascular patterning - transgenic models - correlative imaging - mouse - zebrafish - tumour angiogenesis - tip cell biology
  • Georg Halder Lab
    organ regeneration - cancer - Hippo signaling - genetics - mouse liver - Drosophila
  • Diether Lambrechts Lab
    tumor microenvironment - high-throughput sequencing - single-cell - translational research - biomarker
  • Jean-Christophe Marine Lab
    molecular oncology - cancer - RNA biology - melanoma - genetic engineered mouse models (GEMM) - patient derived tumor xenografts (PDX)
  • Massimiliano Mazzone Lab
    immunity - angiogenesis - cancer
  • Anna Sablina Lab
    human cell transformation - functional genomics - cell signaling - protein phosphatase


VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology
O&N 4, 9e verd Campus GasthuisbergHerestraat 49, bus 912  3000 LEUVEN BELGIUM
+32 16 37 32 35
+32 16 37 25 85
- to capitalize on the existing expertise in angiogenesis: by further unraveling its genetic basis; by discovering novel angiogenic genes and studying their function in vivo; by screening, identifying and evaluating the therapeutic potential of novel (“in house developed”) angiogenesis inhibitors preclinically and clinically and, via strategies from the bench to the bedside and back again, improve the overall efficacy of and reduce the resistance to anti-angiogenic treatments
- to further invest in the more recent initiative of studying the neuro-vascular link: by identifying the molecular mechanisms of, and in particular defining the role of the VEGF family and other angiogenic genes, in the neuro-vascular link in development and neurodegeneration; by developing additional VEGF-based therapeutic strategies preclinically and evaluating the therapeutic potential of VEGF for ALS clinically.


To achieve these goals competetively, we integrate complementary interdisciplinary approaches and state-of-the-art technologies (bridging genetics via functional genomics to translational medicine) and continue to build on our collaborative local and (inter)national scientific networks.

Diether Lambrechts & Jean-Christophe Marine explains their strategy


Click here for an overview of the supporting staff

Hosting: VIB Metabolomics Core

Metabolomics provides a functional readout of the cells biochemistry. It holds great potential to link the observed differences in the phenotype to the underlying biochemical and molecular mechanisms.

The Metabolomics Core at VIB consists of two platform sites, located in Ghent and Leuven. Both sites provide contemporary mass spectrometry (MS) based metabolomic services and offer customized solutions for your experimental setup if requested.

For more information:
VIB Metabolomics Core