Mohamed Lamkanfi Lab

Research focus

​NOD-like receptors (NLRs) represent a family of intracellular receptors by which immune cells detect and mount immune responses against invading pathogens. Mutations in NLR genes are associated with auto-inflammatory and -immune disorders, including Crohn’s disease, arthritis, diabetes, period fever syndromes, asthma, atopic eczema, Blau syndrome and vitiligo. While some NLRs regulate NF-κB signaling and interferon responses, another subset of the 22 NLR proteins encoded in the human genome is responsible for production of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 through activation of the cysteine protease caspase-1 in protein complexes termed ‘inflammasomes’.

A major challenge in NLR and inflammasome research is that our current knowledge of NLR signaling pathways and disease function is highly fragmented. The long-term aim of the “NLR and inflammasome signaling” research unit is to gain insight into the role of NLRs and inflammasomes in human disease. To achieve our goal, we integrate enabling proteomics and genomics technologies for pathway discovery with detailed biochemical, cell biological and in vivo studies of NLR function. Translation of newly gained knowledge will contribute to the development of innovative diagnostics and therapeutic approaches for autoimmune and infectious diseases. ​


Nlrp6- and ASC-Dependent Inflammasomes Do Not Shape the Commensal Gut Microbiota CompositionMamantopoulos M, Ronchi F, Van Hauwermeiren F, Araujo Vieira Da Silva S, Yilmaz B, Martens L, Saeys Y, Drexler S, Yazdi A, Raes J, Lamkanfi M, Mccoy K, Wullaert AIMMUNITY, 47, 339-348, 2017
Familial Mediterranean fever mutations lift the obligatory requirement for microtubules in Pyrin inflammasome activationVan Gorp H* Saavedra P* Vasconcelos N Van Opdenbosch N Vande Walle L Matusiak M Prencipe G Insalaco A Van Hauwermeiren F Demon D Bogaert D Dullaers M De Baere E Hochepied T Dehoorne J Vermaelen K Haerynck F De Benedetti F Lamkanfi MPROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 113, 14384-14389, 2016* These authors contributed equally
Flagellin-induced NLRC4 phosphorylation primes the inflammasome for activation by NAIP5Matusiak M, Van Opdenbosch N, Vande Walle L, Sirard J, Kanneganti T, Lamkanfi MPROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 112, 1541-6, 2015
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
Mechanisms and Functions of InflammasomesLamkanfi M, Dixit VCELL, 157, 1013-1022, 2014

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Scientists show NLRP2 protein’s role in maintaining fertility later in life

06/12/2016 - Mohamed Lamkanfi (VIB–UGent) demonstrated in animal models that a protein (NLRP2) plays an important role in early embryogenesis, the process of cell division in fertilized eggs that occurs before they implant into the lining of the uterus.

VIB scientists develop diagnostic tool for Familial Mediterranean Fever

24/11/2016 - Researchers at VIB and Ghent University have developed a tool to diagnose Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF). Particularly common among Mediterranean populations, this genetic disease is characterized by inflammation, fever and severe pain.

A New Look at Caspase 12 Research

01/06/2016 - Inflammasomes are assemblies that are central to inflammatory responses. Dr. Lieselotte Vande Walle, Daniel Jiménez Fernández and colleagues from Prof. Mo Lamkanfi’s group (VIB/UGent) shed new light on the function of caspase 12.

The Baillet Latour grant 2016 for medical research awarded to Prof. Mohamed Lamkanfi

14/04/2016 - ​To promote medical research in Belgium, the Baillet Latour Fund awards every year a Grant to help a young group leader. This year the Grant is awarded to Professor Mohamed Lamkanfi for his research project in the field of infectious diseases.

Inflammasome research provides insight into rheumatoid arthritis

22/09/2014 - ​Lieselotte Vande Walle and Mo Lamkanfi (VIB Department of Medical Protein Research, UGent) demonstrated with their inflammasome research that rheumatoid arthritis should be considered a syndrome rather than a disease.

Nature Biotechnology article describes new Dutch technology that improves DNA sequencing

27/08/2014 - Cergentis, in collaboration with the Hubrecht Institute, has developed a new technology for DNA sequencing. The new technology and various applications are described in an article appearing this week in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Research on inflammasomes opens new therapeutic avenues for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

01/07/2014 - Scientists at VIB and Ghent University have demonstrated with their research into inflammasomes that rheumatoid arthritis should be considered as a syndrome rather than a single disease.

Toward an alternative for antibiotics to fight bacterial infections?

03/07/2012 - ​VIB researcher Mohamed Lamkanfi, connected to the Ghent University, discovered that mice that do not produce the receptor protein NLRP6, are better protected against bacterial infections and can easier remove bacteria from the body.

Again high ERC recognition for VIB

15/09/2011 - The European Research Council's fourth call for proposals resulted once again in three VIB applicants being recognized as excellent researchers: Mo Lamkanfi, Jiří Friml, and Matthew Holt.

Inflammasomes and Colitis

18/03/2011 - Mohamed Lamkanfi recently demonstrated the role of the Nlrp3 inflammasome in the negative regulation of colitis, and in colitis-associated colorectal tumor formation.

Mohamed Lamkanfi

Mohamed Lamkanfi

Research area(s)

Model organism(s)


​PhD: Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, '04
Postdoc: Univ. of Michigan Medical School, Michigan, USA, '06-'07
Postdoc: Genentech Inc., San Francisco, USA, '07-'09
VIB Group leader since September 2010

Contact Info

VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation ResearchUGent-VIB Research Building FSVMTechnologiepark 927 9052 GENTRoute description