Publication in Cell 2020 : Defining the Design Principles of Skin Epidermis Postnatal Growth

Defining the design principles of postnatal tissue growth
Dekoninck S, Hannezo E, Aragona A, Sifrim A, Malfait M, Gargouri S, de Neunheuser C, Dubois C, Voet T, Simons Benjamin D, Blanpain C
Cell. 2020 Apr 5. pii: S0092-8674(20)30277-4. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.03.015. [Epub ahead of print]
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ULB press release


European Research Council : new ERC grant for Pr. Cédric Blanpain

For the third time, Pr. Cédric Blanpain – Laboratory of Stem Cells and Cancer, Université libre de Bruxelles – has obtained a grant from the European Research Council (ERC). This new project called “TrackingTumorStates” aims to define at the single cell resolution, the mechanisms regulating tumor transition states, responsible for tumor growth, differentiation, invasion, metastasis and resistance to therapy.

Cédric Blanpain – Welbio Investigator, Director of the Laboratory of Stem Cells and Cancer Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) – had obtained an ERC starting grant in 2007 (“CancerStem” 2007-2013), during which his lab identified the cells of origin of the most frequent epithelial cancers, demonstrated the existence of cancer stem cells within their natural microenvironment and identified intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms regulating their functions.

He has also obtained an ERC consolidator grant in 2014 (“EXPAND” 2014-2019), during which his group defined the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating tissue expansion and cell fate decision during postnatal growth and repair of epithelial tissues.

With his new ERC Advanced Grant (TrackingTumorStates, 2020-2025), he and his team will define at the single cell level the different tumor states. Within a given tumor, some cancer cells actively proliferate, while others differentiate, others migrate and give rise to metastasis, or finally some cells enter in a dormant state and resist to chemotherapy.

In the project TrackingTumorStates, using multidisciplinary approaches that combine single-cell lineage tracing, single-cell genomics, epigenomics and transcriptomics together with pharmacological treatment and genetic perturbations, Prof. Blanpain and his team will define in a comprehensive and integrated manner the identities and functions of distinct tumor states at single-cell resolution. By identifying the mechanisms that regulate tumor cell state transitions and functions, Blanpain and colleagues hope to define new tumor vulnerabilities and provide new therapeutic opportunities.

“I am so grateful to the ERC to fund my new research project studying tumor transition states and their role during tumor progression, metastasis and response to therapy. Without the ERC, my lab would never be able to make many of the discoveries we made over the last 10 years. It is so exciting and encouraging for all our European countries to have the ERC, which had made so much good things and change the dynamic of the European research” comments Cédric Blanpain, the first Belgian scientist that already obtained three ERC grants since the launch of the first ERC call in 2007.

Publication in Sciences Advances 2020 : Epidermal autonomous VEGFA/Flt1/Nrp1 functions mediate psoriasis-like disease

Benhadou F, Glitzner E, Brisebarre A, Swedlund B, Song Y, Dubois C, Rozzi M, Paulissen C, del Marmol V, Sibilia M, Blanpain C  
Epidermal autonomous VEGFA/Flt1/Nrp1 functions mediate psoriasis-like disease
Science Advances 2020 Jan 8 ; 6(2):eaax5849.  doi : 10.1126/sciadv.aax5849
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Publication in Cell Reports 2019: Context Dependency of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition for Metastasis

Revenco T,  Nicodeme A,  Pastushenko I, Sznurkowska MK, Latil M, Sotiropoulou PA, Dubois C, Moers V, Lemaire S, de Maertelaer V and Blanpain C
Context Dependency of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition for Metastasis
Cell Rep. 2019 Nov 5; 29(6):1458-1468. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.09.081 
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Pr. Cédric Blanpain received the 2019 AstraZeneca Price

Prof. Cédric Blanpain was awarded the price for biomedical research 2019 from the AstraZeneca Foundation.  Every two years, the AstraZeneca Foundation, together with the Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique (ARMB) and the Koninklijke Academie voor Geneeskunde van België (KAGB), awards a prize to a Belgian biomedical scientist for research that has contributed, or could contribute, to improving human health.  S.A.R. Princess Astrid gave this distinction to Prof. Blanpain at the Royal Academy in Brussels. Jean-Claude Marcourt, the Belgian’s French Community Minister for Research, together with other guests including the members of the Blanpain’s lab, were also present at the ceremony. 

Crédits : AstraZeneca Foundation – Laurent Dubrule

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La Libre Belgique : special edition on cancer

Prof. Blanpain makes the cover of this special edition PDF

An EMBO long-term fellowship for Magdalena Sznurkowska

Magdalena Sznurkowska has been working in the lab as a post-doctoral researcher for one year.  The fellowship she received from EMBO, a prestigious organization of more than 1800 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences, will permit her to carry on her research on the cellular and molecular basis of cancer metastasis. 

World Cancer Day : a new campaign for Télévie

In the distant future, will cancer still be so frightening?  Will it be easily and totally curable?  Prof. Blanpain has accepted to answer these questions for the new Télévie campaign.  PDF

Joint interview with Jean Stéphenne and Cédric Blanpain

Is the creation of biotech companies as a logical extension of scientific research work worthwhile?  Read under the link below the viewpoints of Jean Stéphenne, former GlaxoSmithKline CEO and Prof. Cédric Blanpain.

“Il nous faut des chercheurs qui puissent écouter”, L’Echo, 10 December 2018.  PDF

Publication in Nature 2018: Overcoming the resistance to therapy in skin cancer

Sánchez-Danés A, Larsimont JC, Liagre M, Muñoz-Couselo E, Lapouge G, Brisebarre A, Dubois C, Suppa M, Sukumaran V, Del Marmol V, Tabernero J,Blanpain C.A
Slow-cycling LGR5 tumour population mediates basal cell carcinoma relapse after therapy.
Nature. 2018 Oct; 562(7727):434-438. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0603-3. Epub 2018 Oct 8.
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Cédric Blanpain cited as a good incarnation of leadership in Wallonia

“Des fêtes dans une Wallonie en panne de leadership”, Le Soir, 15-16 September 2018.   PDF

A long portrait of Cédric Blanpain in “Le Soir” : « J’ai peur du cancer donc je cherche à le soigner »

In the framework of its summer series, Le Soir publishes a long portrait of Prof. Cédric Blanpain : « Mon moteur?  La découverte de l’inconnu »,  11 August 2018. PDF

ChromaCure SA is launched

Created by Prof. Cédric Blanpain, this new spin-off will be dedicated to the development of therapeutic molecules against cancer.  The launch of this very promising venture is considered a major event in the Belgian biotech world. 

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Publication in Nature Cell Biology 2018: Origin of mammary gland stem cells identified

Wuidart A, Sifrim A, Matsumura S, Fioramonti M, Brisebarre A, Brown D , Centonze A, Dannau A, Dubois C, Van Keymeulen A, Voet T, Blanpain C
Early lineage segregation of multipotent embryonic mammary gland progenitors.
Nat Cell Biol.2018 Jun;20(6):666-676. doi: 10.1038/s41556-018-0095-2. Epub 2018 May 21.

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Publication in Nature 2018: Tumor transition state and the origin of the metastasis

Pastushenko I, Brisebarre A, Sifrim A, Fioramonti M, Renvenco T, Boumahdi S, Van Keymeulen A, Brown D, Moers V, Lemaire S, De Clercq S, Minguijon E, Cédric Balsat C, Sokolow Y, Dubois C, de Cock F, Scozzaro S, Sopena F, Lanas A, D’Haene N, Salmon I, Marine JC, Voet T, Sotiropoulou P and Blanpain C.
Identification of the tumour transition states occurring during EMT.
Nature. 2018 Apr;556(7702):463-468. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0040-3. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

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Publication in Science 2018: Early step of cardiac development revealed

Lescroart F, Wang X, Lin X, Swedlund B, Gargouri S, Sànchez-Dànes A, Moignard V, Dubois C, Paulissen C, Kinston S, Göttgens B,Blanpain C.
Defining the earliest step of cardiovascular lineage segregation during gastrulation by single cell RNA-seq.
Science. 2018 Mar 9;359(6380):1177-1181. doi: 10.1126/science.aao4174. Epub 2018 Jan 25.
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Belgian Foundation against Cancer Research Award to Prof. Blanpain

The Belgian Foundation against Cancer has granted its first Cancer Research Award to Prof. Blanpain in the field of fundamental research.  This award is given to the researcher who has been ranked in first place in the grant selection.  Press release

Prof. Cédric Blanpain amongst the 100 most influential Belgians of the year 2016

Le Soir, 31 December 2016

Publication in Cell Stem Cell 2016/2017 : the origin of EMT revealed

Latil M, Nassar D, Beck B, Boumahdi S, Wang L, Brisebarre A, Dubois C, Nkusi E, Lenglez S, Checinska A, Vercauteren Drubbel A, Devos M, Declercq W, Yi R, Blanpain C.
Cell-Type-Specific Chromatin States Differentially Prime Squamous Cell Carcinoma Tumor-Initiating Cells for Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition. Cell Stem Cell.2017 Feb 2;20(2):191-204.e5. doi:10.1016/j.stem.2016.10.018. Epub 2016 Nov 23.
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Pr. Cédric Blanpain elected as a member of Academia Europaea

Founded in 1988, Academia Europaea is a European, non-governmental association acting as an Academy.  Its 3800 members are scientists and scholars who collectively aim to promote learning, education and research.   Academia Europaea supports  the advancement and propagation of excellence in scholarship anywhere in the world.

Publication in Nature 2016 : the origin of skin cancer uncovered

Sánchez-Danés A, Hannezo E, Larsimont JC, Liagre M, Youssef KK, Simons B, Blanpain C.Defining the clonal dynamics leading to mouse skin tumor initiationNature. 2016 Aug 18;536(7616):298-303. Epub 2016 Jul 8.

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Publication in Cell Reports 2015 : Uncovering the number and clonal dynamics of cardiac progenitors during heart morphogenesis

Chabab S, Lescroart F, Rulands S, Mathiah N, Simons BD and Blanpain C.
Uncovering the number and clonal dynamics of Mesp1 progenitors during heart morphogenesis.
Cell Reports 2016 Jan 5;14(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.12.013. Epub 2015 Dec 24.
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Pr. Cédric Blanpain received from his Majesty the King Philippe the prestigious FNRS quinquennial 2011-2015 prize

On November 2015, Pr. Cédric Blanpain was awarded from a FNRS quinquennial 2011-2015 price (the Joseph Maisin price for fundamental biomedical sciences).  Every five years, those prestigious prices award five Belgian researchers for their particularly exceptional career.

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Publication in Nature Cell Biology 2015 : the causal link between aneuploidy and cancer showed

Sercin O., Larsimont J.C., Karambelas A.E., Marthiens V., Moers V., Boeckx B., e Mercier M., Lambrechts D., Basto R., Blanpain C.
Nature Cell Biology, 2016 Jan;18(1):100-10. doi: 10.1038/ncb3270. Epub 2015 Nov 23.
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Publication in Nature 2015 : the cells at the origin of breast cancers identified

Van Keymeulen A, Lee M.Y., Ousset M, Rorive S, Brohée S, Wuidart A, Bouvencourt G, Giraddi R, Dubois C, Salmon I, Sotiriou C, Phillips W.A., Blanpain C.
Reactivation of multipotency by oncogenic PIK3CA induces breast tumor heterogeneity.
Nature 2015  Sep 3;525(7567):119-23. doi: 10.1038/nature14665. Epub 2015 Aug 12.
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Publication in Nature Medicine 2015 : new genetic alterations involved in the development of skin squamous cell carcinoma uncovered

Nassar D, Latil M, Boeckx B, Lambrechts D, Blanpain C.
Genomic landscape of carcinogen and gentically-induced mouse skin squamous cell carcinoma.
Nat Med. 2015 Aug;21(8):946-54. doi: 10.1038/nm.3878. Epub 2015 Jul 13.
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Publication in cell stem cell 2015 : Sox9 gene is a key in skin cancer

Larsimont JC, Youssef  KK, Sánchez-Danés A, Sukumaran V,  Defrance M, Delatte B; Liagre M, Marine JC, Lippens S, Guerin C, Del Marmol V, Vanderwinden JM, Fuks F & Blanpain C.  Sox9 controls renewal of oncogene targeted cells and links tumor initiation and invasion.  Cell Stem Cell. 2015 Jul 2;17(1):60-73. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2015.05.008. Epub 2015 Jun 18.
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Grant received from the Fonds Erasme : convention d’excellence 2015-2021

A biomedical research group led by Prof. Isabelle Salmon, Head of the pathologic anatomy service at the Erasme Hospital, was granted a 1.800.000 euros subsidy in order to analyse the tumoral heterogeneity in the patients-derivated xenografts and their incidence for the specialised medicine.  The lab of stem cells and cancer is very active in this nice project.  Project presentation on the Fonds Erasme web site

An EMBO long-term fellowship for Maylis Raphael

Maylis Raphael has been working in the lab as a post-doctoral researcher since 2015.  The fellowship she received from EMBO, a prestigious organization of more than 1800 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences, will permit her to carry on her research on the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT).

“Ma démarche scientifique est celle d’un agnostique”

Portrait of Pr. Cédric Blanpain by Philippe Lambert in La Recherche, n°497, March 2015.  PDF

The future of scientific research in Belgium

Pr. Cédric Blanpain was invited by Ms. Christine Defraigne, President of the Belgian Senate, to give a talk during a seminar about the future of the scientific research in Belgium.  Here is the content of his intervention: PDF

Publication in Cell Stem Cell 2015 : a new mechanism involved in tumour initiation, growth and progression in skin squamous cell carcinoma uncovered

Beck B, Lapouge G, Rorive S, Drogat B, Desaedelaere K, Delafaille S, Dubois C, Salmon I, Willekens K, Marine JC, Blanpain C.
Different levels of Twist1 regulate skin tumor initiation, stemness, and progression.
Cell Stem Cell. 2015 Jan 8;16(1):67-79. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.12.002.
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Publication in Nature Cell Biology 2014 : definition of the early lineage segregation during early mammalian heart development

Lescroart F, Chabab S, Lin X, Rulands S, Paulissen C, Rodolosse A, Auer H, Achouri Y, Dubois C, Bondue A, Simons BD, Blanpain C.
Early lineage restriction in temporally distinct populations of Mesp1 progenitors during mammalian heart development.
Nat Cell Biol. 2014 Sep;16(9):829-40. doi: 10.1038/ncb3024. Epub 2014 Aug 24.
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A book edited for Inbev-Baillet Latour Fund’s 40th birthday

The InBev-Baillet Latour fund is one of the most important supporters of the Lab of stem cells and cancer.  For its 40th birthday, it published a book where the research and main discoveries done in the lab are detailed : PDF

Publication in Nature 2014 : the molecular mechanisms regulating tumour initiation and cancer stem cells functions in skin squamous cell carcinoma uncovered

Publication in Nature 2014 : the molecular mechanisms regulating tumour initiation and cancer stem cells functions in skin squamous cell carcinoma uncovered

Boumahdi S, Driessens G, Lapouge G, Rorive S, Nassar D, Le Mercier M, Delatte B, Caauwe A, Lenglez S, Nkusi E, Brohée S, Salmon I, Dubois C, del Marmol V, Fuks F, Beck B, Blanpain C.
SOX2 controls tumour initiation and cancer stem-cell functions in squamous-cell carcinoma.
Nature. 2014 Jul 10;511(7508):246-50. doi: 10.1038/nature13305. Epub 2014 Jun 8.
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ERC consolidator grant to Pr. Cedric Blanpain

For the second time, Pr. Blanpain was granted a funding from the European Research Council (ERC).  Named EXPAND, this new project – a consolidator grant – aims to define the cellular dynamics leading to tissue expansion.  

Cédric Blanpain had already got an ERC starting grant in 2007 for the Cancerstem project.  During his first ERC Starting Grant (CancerStem, 2007-2012), Blanpain and colleagues uncovered new populations of stem cells and progenitor cells in the epidermis, prostate and mammary gland, and identified the cancer cell of origin in these different tissues. Using novel genetic approaches, they demonstrated the existence of cancer stem cells within their natural microenvironment and identified intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms regulating their functions.

Now, in his new ERC Consolidator Grant (EXPAND, 2014-2019), he studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating tissue expansion and cell fate decision during growth and repair of epithelial tissues.

Mathilde Latil received the “Prix pour les Jeunes Chercheurs” award from the Bettencourt-Schueller Foundation

Interview with Bernard Rentier and Cédric Blanpain : “la recherche scientifique est-elle mal-aimée?”

Is scientific research unloved?  Pr. Bernard Rentier, Rector of the Université of Liège (Belgium) and Pr. Cédric Blanpain don’t share the same opinion on this subject : La Libre Belgique, 24 May 2013

Portrait of Pr. Cédric Blanpain in “Le Vif L’Express” : “Le hasard ne sourit qu’à ceux qui y sont préparés”


Portrait of Prof. Cédric Blanpain in “Knack” : “Ik zou graag honderdduizenden mensen genezen”


Pr. Cédric Blanpain chosen by Nature as one of the 10 scientists who mattered in 2012

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