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.​​​​​


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* These 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
IRF8 Transcription Factor Controls Survival and Function of Terminally Differentiated Conventional and Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells, RespectivelySichien Dorine Scott Charlotte Martens Liesbet Vanderkerken Matthias Van Gassen Sofie Plantinga M Joeris T De Prijck Sofie Vanhoutte Leen Vanheerswynghels Manon Van Isterdael Gert Toussaint Wendy Madeira F. B Vergote Karl Agace W. W Clausen B. E Hammad Hamida Dalod M Saeys Yvan Lambrecht Bart Guilliams MartinIMMUNITY, 45, 626-40, 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* These 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

Job openings


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