Jan Tavernier Lab

Research focus

The a-helical bundle cytokine family comprises most interleukins, the interferons and colony stimulating factors, together with hormones such as growth hormone and leptin. They control many levels of intercellular communication involved in development, host defense and metabolism in higher eukaryotes. Several human diseases are associated with malfunctioning of this communication system. Their receptors are composed of an extracellular, ligand-binding part that is linked to the cytosolic, signaling domain by a single transmembrane region. We are investigating several key aspects of these receptors. Detailed studies are ongoing to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie receptor activation upon ligand binding. We focus here on the leptin receptor, and from these insights several leptin antagonists were developed. A key signaling event downstream of these receptors is activation of the JAK/STAT pathway, and our MAPPIT two-hybrid toolbox is based on this signaling route. Using MAPPIT and other technologies including molecular modeling, we investigate several protein interactions that are important in the innate immune response.


A proteome-scale map of the human interactome networkRolland T, Ta an M, Charloteaux B, Pevzner S, Zhong Q, Sahni N, Yi S, Lemmens I, Fontanillo C, Mosca R, Kamburov A, Ghiassian S, Yang X, Ghamsari L, Balcha D, Begg B, Braun P, Brehme M, Broly M, Carvunis A, Convery-Zupan D, Corominas R, Coulombe-Huntington J, Dann E, Dreze M, Dricot A, Fan C, Franzosa E, Gebreab F, Gutierrez B, Hardy M, Jin M, Kang S, Kiros R, Lin G, Luck K, Macwilliams A, Menche J, Murray R, Palagi A, Poulin M, Rambout X, Rasla J, Reichert P, Romero V, Ruyssinck E, Sahalie J, Scholz A, Shah A, Sharma A, Shen Y, Spirohn K, Tam S, Tejeda A, Trigg S, Twizere J, Vega K, Walsh J, Cusick M, Xia Y, Barabasi A, Iakoucheva L, Aloy P, De Las Rivas J, Tavernier J, Calderwood M, Hill D, Hao T, Roth F, Vidal MCELL, 159, 1212-26, 2014
High-quality binary protein interaction map of the yeast interactome networkYu H, Braun P, Yildirim M, Lemmens I, Venkatesan K, Sahalie J, Hirozane-Kishikawa T, Gebreab F, Li N, Simonis N, Hao T, Rual J, Dricot A, Vazquez A, Murray R, Simon c, Tardivo L, Tam S, Svrzikapa N, Fan C, De Smet A, Motyl A, Hudson M, Park J, Xin X, Cusick M, Moore T, Boone C, Snyder M, Roth F, Barabasi A, Tavernier J, Hill D, Vidal MSCIENCE, 322, 104-10, 2008
Reverse MAPPIT: screening for protein-protein interaction modifiers in mammalian cellsEyckerman S, Lemmens I, Catteeuw D, Verhee A, Vandekerckhove J, Lievens S, Tavernier JNATURE METHODS, 2, 427-433, 2005
Design and application of a cytokine- receptor-based interaction trapEyckerman S, Verhee A, Van Der Heyden J, Lemmens I, Van Ostade X, Vandekerckhove J, Tavernier JNATURE CELL BIOLOGY, 3, 1114-1119, 2001

Job openings


Interesting news from VIB Medical Biotechnology Center UGent

29/07/2016 - The labs of Jan Tavernier, Kris Gevaert and Sven Eyckerman from the VIB Medical Biotechnology Center, UGent tackle some of the most fundamental life sciences questions in their research into the detection and analysis of protein-protein interaction.

Jan Tavernier

Jan Tavernier

Research area(s)


​PhD: Ghent University, Belgium, 1984
VIB Group leader since 1996
Acting department director 2010-2015

Contact Info

VIB-UGent Center for Medical BiotechnologyAlbert Baertsoenkaai 3 9000 GENTRoute description