Martin Guilliams Lab

Research focus

Our research focuses on the development and functional specialization of macrophages and dendritic cells.  To unravel the role of macrophages and DCs in the regulation of immune responses in vivo we have constructed novel DTR- or CRE-expressing knock-in mice that allow to deplete a particular macrophage or DC subset specifically in vivo or to knock-down genes of interests specifically within these cells. These novel knock-in mouse models include mice specific for liver resident Kupffer Cells and lung-resident Alveolar Macrophages. We are particularly interested in: (i) identifying the transcription factors that drive DC and macrophage development, (ii) identify the tissue signals that drive DC and macrophage development and imprint their tissue-specific identity and functional specialization (iii) unraveling how tissue-resident macrophages participate to the maintenance of tissue homeostasis and (iv) understanding how inflammation influences the development and function of DC and macrophage subsets.

To address these questions we combine unique in vivo transgenic mouse models with state-of-the-art in silico approaches in close collaboration with the Data Mining and Modelling for Biomedicine group (Dambi) headed by Yvan Saeys. We use 15-color flow cytometry, 5-color confocal microscopy and intravital microscopy (collaboration with Djoere Gaublomme – Dirk Elewaut lab) and perform bulk- and single-cell RNA-seq analysis for our research. We are partners of the Immgen Consortium and profile hepatic myeloid cells for the Open Source MNP project (

We have ongoing collaborations with the team from Mo Lamkanfi, Bart Lambrecht & Hamida Hammad, Geert Van Loo and Geert Berx within the Center for Inflammation Research.​​​​​


Stellate Cells, Hepatocytes, and Endothelial Cells Imprint the Kupffer Cell Identity on Monocytes Colonizing the Liver Macrophage Niche.Bonnardel Johnny@ T'Jonck Wouter* Gaublomme Djoere Browaeys Robin Scott Charlotte Martens Liesbet Vanneste Bavo De Prijck Sofie Nedospasov Sergei Kremer Anna Van Hamme Evelien Borghgraef Peter Toussaint Wendy De Bleser Pieter Mannaerts Inge Beschin Alain van Grunsven Leo Lambrecht Bart Taghon Tom Lippens Saskia Elewaut Dirk Saeys Yvan° Guilliams Martin@IMMUNITY, 51, 638-654.e9, 2019* or °: authors contributed equally@: corresponding authors
The Transcription Factor ZEB2 Is Required to Maintain the Tissue-Specific Identities of MacrophagesScott C* T'jonck W* Martens L Todorov H Sichien D Soen B Bonnardel J De Prijck S Vandamme N Cannoodt R Saelens W Vanneste B Toussaint W De Bleser P Takahashi N Vandenabeele P Henri S Pridans C Hume D Lambrecht B De Baetselier P Milling S Van Ginderachter J Malissen B Berx G Beschin A* Saeys Y* Guilliams M*IMMUNITY, 49, 312-325 e5, 2018* or °: authors contributed equally
Yolk Sac Macrophages, Fetal Liver, and Adult Monocytes Can Colonize an Empty Niche and Develop into Functional Tissue-Resident Macrophagesvan de Laar Lianne Saelens Wouter De Prijck Sofie Martens Liesbet Scott Charlotte Van Isterdael Gert Hoffmann Eik Beyaert Rudi Saeys Yvan Lambrecht Bart Guilliams MartinIMMUNITY, 44, 755-68, 2016
Unsupervised High-Dimensional Analysis Aligns Dendritic Cells across Tissues and SpeciesGuilliams M* Dutertre C Scott C Mcgovern N Sichien D Chakarov S Van Gassen S Chen J Poidinger M De Prijck S Tavernier S Low I Irac S Mattar C Sumatoh H Low G Chung T Chan D Tan K Hon T Fossum E Bogen B Choolani M Chan J Larbi A Luche H Henri S Saeys Y Newell E Lambrecht B* Malissen B* Ginhoux F*IMMUNITY, 45, 669-84, 2016* or °: authors contributed equally
Bone marrow-derived monocytes give rise to self-renewing and fully differentiated Kupffer cellsScott Charlotte Zheng Fang De Baetselier Patrick Martens Liesbet Saeys Yvan De Prijck Sofie Lippens Saskia Abels Chloé Schoonooghe Steve Raes Geert Devoogdt N Lambrecht Bart Beschin Alain Guilliams MartinNature Communications, 7, 10321, 2016

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18 of the world’s most influential researchers at VIB

20/11/2019 - Each year, Clarivate analytics identifies the world’s most influential researchers who have been cited most frequently by their peers over the last decade. No less than 18 VIB researchers are part of this highly acclaimed group of influential scientists.

Two VIB-UGent scientists recognized as EMBO Young Investigators

13/11/2019 - In 2020, Prof. Bert De Rybel (VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology) & Prof. Martin Guilliams (VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research) will join Young Investigators Programme elected by EMBO.

VIB welcomes new Marie Curie fellows

04/03/2019 - Each year, the EU launches calls for postdoc research fellowships through the Marie Sklodowksa-Curie Actions. Fellowships provided through these actions support researchers regardless of age & nationality.

Martin Guilliams

Martin Guilliams

Research area(s)

Model organism(s)


PhD: Free Univ. of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium, 2003-08
Postdoc: CIML, Marseille, France, 2008-11
Postdoc: Ghent Univ., Ghent, Belgium, 2011-15
Professor: Ghent Univ., Ghent, Belgium, 2015-current
VIB Group leader as of July 2017

Contact Info

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