Geert van Loo Lab

Research focus

​Inflammation is a protective response to induce repair in conditions of cellular damage and stress. However, defective regulation of inflammatory reactions can lead to chronic inflammation and the development of disease, indicating the need for tight control of inflammatory processes. Our research aims to understand the in vivo mechanisms by which chronic inflammation drives (autoimmune) pathology.

One major focus concerns the transcription factor NF-kB and the molecular mechanisms by which NF-kB controls inflammatory and apoptotic responses in vivo. Also ER stress and autophagy are being studied in this context, since more and more evidence indicates that also these pathways may be crucially involved in inflammatory reactions and the development of inflammatory pathology. For these studies we use transgenic mice as a model to study gene function in vivo, both through Cre/LoxP-mediated gene targeting allowing tissue-specific gene deletion, and through CRISP/Cas technology to introduce specific mutations in vivo. These mice are characterized in several mouse models of chronic inflammatory pathology, including models for inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. 

> video on Geert Van Loo's research in the framework of the "2015 CBC Banc Prize" - ©VIB, 2015

> video on basic research on multiple sclerosis - Geert Van Loo - ©VIB, 2014


A20 prevents inflammasome-dependent arthritis by inhibiting macrophage necroptosis through its ZnF7 ubiquitin-binding domain.Polykratis Apostolos* Martens Arne* Eren Remzi Onur* Shirasaki Yoshitaka Yamagishi Mai Yamaguchi Yoshifumi Uemura Sotaro Miura Masayuki Holzmann Bernhard Kollias George Armaka Marietta° van Loo Geert@ Pasparakis Manolis@NATURE CELL BIOLOGY, 21, 731-742, 2019* These authors contributed equally
Physical and functional interaction between A20 and ATG16L1-WD40 domain in the control of intestinal homeostasisSlowicka K* Serramito-Gomez I* Boada-Romero E* Martens A Sze M Petta I Vikkula H De Rycke R Parthoens E Lippens S Savvides S Wullaert A Vereecke L* Pimentel-Muinos F* Van Loo G*Nature Communications, 10, 1834, 2019* These authors contributed equally
A20 critically controls microglia activation and inhibits inflammasome-dependent neuroinflammationVoet S* Mcguire C* Hagemeyer N* Martens A Schröder A Wieghofer P Daems C Staszewski O Vande Walle L Jordao M Sze M Vikkula H Demeestere D Van Imschoot G Scott C Hoste E Goncalves A Guilliams M Lippens S Libert C Vandenbroucke R Kim K Jung S Callaerts-Vegh Z Callaerts P De Wit J Lamkanfi M Prinz M* Van Loo G*Nature Communications, 9, 2036, 2018* These authors contributed equally
Negative regulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome by A20 protects against arthritisVande Walle L Van Opdenbosch N Jacques P Fossoul A Verheugen E Vogel P Beyaert R Elewaut D Kanneganti T Van Loo G* Lamkanfi M*NATURE, 512, 69-73, 2014* These authors contributed equally
A20 (TNFAIP3) deficiency in myeloid cells triggers erosive polyarthritis resembling rheumatoid arthritisMatmati M Jacques P Maelfait J Verheugen E Kool M Sze M Geboes L Louagie E Guire C Vereecke L Chu Y Boon L Staelens S Matthys P Lambrecht B Schmidt-Supprian M Pasparakis M Elewaut D Beyaert R* Van Loo G*NATURE GENETICS, 43, 908-12, 2011* These authors contributed equally

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Preventing cell death as novel therapeutic strategy for rheumatoid arthritis

10/05/2019 - A study by research groups from the University of Cologne, VIB, Ghent University, the Βiomedical Sciences Research Center ‘Alexander Fleming’ in Athens & the University of Tokyo identified a new molecular mechanism causing rheumatoid arthritis.

Defect in A20 gene expression causes rheumatoid arthritis

16/08/2011 - In Nature Genetics, VIB-UGent researchers demonstrate that a defect in the expression of the A20 gene can contribute to the development of rheumatoid arthritis in mice, identifying A20 as a target for the generation of new drugs.

First step to new therapy for chronic bowel disease

05/07/2010 - Scientists associated with VIB and Ghent University (UGent) have discovered that A20 protein plays an important protective role in diseases associated with chronic bowel inflammation.

Geert van Loo

Geert van Loo

Research area(s)

Model organism(s)


PhD: Univ. of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium, 2002
Post-doc: EMBL, Monterotondo, Italy, 2002-2005
Staff scientist at VIB, Ghent, Belgium since 2007
Professor at Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium since 2011
VIB Group leader since 2014         

Contact Info

VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation ResearchUGent-VIB Research Building FSVMTechnologiepark 71 9052 GENTRoute description