Metabolomics Expertise Center

Research focus

​Metabolism describes the whole of enzymatic reactions occurring inside and outside the cellular environment. Understanding how this 'engine' of reactions works and more importantly, understanding the metabolic alterations occurring during specific conditions and diseases, provides a powerful tool for the development of novel drug strategies. Studying metabolism gives researchers an idea about the signatures of biochemical activities in their model system.

For the analysis of metabolism we have both gas and liquid chromatography based mass spectrometers operational allowing great versatility for the study of diverse classes of metabolites. Analyses range from studying global metabolite levels (measuring up to 150-300 metabolites involved in diverse pathways) to highly specific targeted methods such as Multiple/Single Reaction Monitoring assays (MRM/SRM)). Furthermore, we are using and optimizing a diverse range of chromatographic set-ups (Hydrophilic Interaction Chromatography (HILIC), Reversed Phase (C18, C4), silica hydride, etc) to tackle the analysis of metabolites.

The laboratory also holds expertise in 13C metabolic tracer studies, these are based on the principle that when 13C-labeled metabolites (for instance 13C glucose, 13C glutamine) are administered to cell cultures or to organisms, the subsequent 13C labeling pattern of downstream metabolites will depend on the amount of activation (flux) of metabolic reactions and pathways. Using 13C isotope incorporation studies, researchers can quantify these fluxes and pinpoint the crucial reactions in the entire metabolic network (Crown and Antoniewicz 2013; Weitzel, Noh et al. 2013). The Vesalius Research Center invested in obtaining this unique knowhow and we currently apply it onto the understanding of endothelial cell metabolism.

We are also interested in understanding metabolic crosstalk. Indeed, when specific metabolite levels are increased during certain conditions, they can serve as signaling molecules (through the modifications of biomolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins). We aim at understanding how this crosstalk occurs and what the biochemical consequences are, especially during endothelial cell proliferation.


Fatty acid carbon is essential for dNTP synthesis in endothelial cellsSchoors S* Brüning U* Missiaen R De Souza Queiroz K Borgers G Elia I Zecchin A Cantelmo A Christen S Goveia J Heggermont W Goddé L Vinckier S Van Veldhoven P Eelen G Schoonjans L Gerhardt H Dewerchin M Baes M De Bock K Ghesquière B Lunt S Fendt S* Carmeliet P*NATURE, 520, 192-7, 2015* or °: authors contributed equally
Metabolism of stromal and immune cells in health and diseaseGhesquière Bart Wong Brian Kuchnio Anna Carmeliet PeterNATURE, 511, 167-76, 2014
Tumor vessel normalization by chloroquine independent of autophagyMaes H* Kuchnio A* Peric A Moens S Nys K De Bock K Quaegebeur A Schoors S Georgiadou M Wouters J Vinckier S Vankelecom H Garmyn M Vion A Radtke F Boulanger C Gerhardt H Dejana E Dewerchin M Ghesquière B Annaert W Agostinis P Carmeliet PCANCER CELL, 26, 190-206, 2014* or °: authors contributed equally
Proteomics methods to study methionine oxidationGhesquière Bart Gevaert KrisMASS SPECTROMETRY REVIEWS, 33, 147-56, 2014
Role of PFKFB3-Driven Glycolysis in Vessel SproutingDe Bock K* Georgiadou M* Schoors S Kuchnio A Wong B Cantelmo A Quaegebeur A Ghesquiere B Cauwenberghs S Eelen G Phng L Betz I Tembuyser B Brepoels K Welti J Geudens I Segura I Cruys B Bifari F Decimo I Blanco R Wyns S Vangindertael J Rocha S Collins R Munck S Daelemans D Imamura H Devlieger R Rider M Van Veldhoven P Schuit F Bartrons R Hofkens J Fraisl P Telang S Deberardinis R Schoonjans L Vinckier S Chesney J Gerhardt H Dewerchin M Carmeliet PCELL, 154, 651-63, 2013* or °: authors contributed equally

Job openings

Bart Ghesquière

Bart Ghesquière

Research area(s)


PhD: Univ. Ghent, Ghent, Belgium, 2004-08
Postdoc: Univ. Ghent, Ghent, Belgium, 2008-11
Visiting Postdoc: NHLBI (NIH), Bethesda, US, 2011
Postdoc: Vesalius Research Center, Leuven, Belgium, 2012-14
Visiting Postdoc: Univ. of Delaware, Delaware, US, 2013
VIB Group leader since 2014

Contact Info

VIB Metabolomics CoreLeuvenO&N 4, 9e verdHerestraat 49, bus 912 3000 LEUVEN