Principal Investigator

Cédric Blanpain, MD, PhD

Cedric Blanpain graduated as a Medical Doctor (1995), received his PhD in Medical Sciences (2001) and was board certified in internal medicine (2002) from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium. He performed a postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Elaine Fuchs, at the Rockefeller University from 2002 to 2006. Cédric Blanpain started his laboratory in October 2006 as “chercheur qualifié” of the Belgian Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS).
Cédric Blanpain is full professor, WELBIO investigator and director of the laboratory of stem cells and cancer. Cedric Blanpain received prestigious awards including EMBO Young investigator award, the outstanding young investigator award of the International Society of Stem Cell Research 2012, the Liliane Bettencourt award for life sciences 2012, Josef-Maisin Award/quinquennial FNRS award 2015. He has been elected member of the EMBO in 2012, the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine 2015, and the Academiae Europae 2016.

Permanent Researcher

Alexandra Van Keymeulen, PhD

Alexandra Van Keymeulen received her PhD in Chemistry from Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in 2000. Alexandra joined Henry Bourne Lab (University of California San Francisco, USA) as a postdoctoral fellow from 2002 to 2006.
Alexandra joined the laboratory in 2006 as a postdoctoral fellow and was appointed to a tenure position as “chercheur qualifié” (Assistant professor) in 2008 then Maître de recherché (Associate Professor) of the Belgian Fond National de la recherche Scientifique (FNRS) in 2015. She is leading projects on the mammary gland stem cells and on the cells of origin of breast cancers.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Xionghui Lin, PhD

Xionghui Lin obtained his PhD from Uppsala University, Sweden in 2010. Xionghui joined our laboratory in September 2012 as a postdoctoral fellow. He is studying the transcriptional network regulating cell fate determination of cardiovascular progenitor cells during embryonic stem cell differentiation and mouse heart development.

Federico Mauri, PhD

Federico Mauri received his Master degree in Medical biotechnology from the University of Trieste in 2006. He then joined the laboratory of prof. Jürgen Knoblich at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, studying the mechanisms of asymmetric cell division in Drosophila melanogaster. Federico obtained his PhD in Molecular biology from the University of Vienna in 2011. After one more year as post-doctoral fellow in the Knoblich lab, Federico joined the laboratory in 2013 to study the role of asymmetric cell division in the expansion of the cancer stem stell population and its impact on tumor progression.

Ievgenia Pastushenko, MD, PhD

Ievgenia Pastushenko graduated as a Medical Doctor in 2009 at the University of Zaragoza (Spain) and was board certified in Dermatology in 2014. She received her PhD in Medical Sciences at the University of Zaragoza (Spain) in 2014. Ievgenia joined our laboratory in January 2015 and she is studying the mechanisms regulating EMT and tumor heterogeneity.

Marco Fioramonti, PhD

Marco Fioramonti obtained his PhD from Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, Italy in 2016. Marco joined our laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in November 2016. Marco is studying the cell of origin of breast cancer and the mechanisms regulating tumor heterogeneity.

Rahul Sarate, PhD

Rahul Sarate completed his PhD from ACTREC-Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai in 2017 Rahul joined the lab as postdoctoral fellow in May 2017. He is studying  the molecular and cellular mechanisms mediating tissue repair in the skin epidermis.

Shuheng Lin, PhD

Shuheng Lin obtained her PhD from University of Lyon 1 in 2017. Shuheng joined our lab as a postdoctoral fellow in January 2018. Shuheng is studying the mechanisms regulating multipotency of mammary gland stem cell.

Pauline Vieugué, PhD

Pauline Vieugué obtained her Ph.D from the University of Lyon1, France in 2018. In March 2018 she joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow to study the mechanisms regulating tumor heterogeneity.

Rolando Vegliante, PhD

PhD Students

Maud Debaugnies, MD

Maud Debaugnies received her Medical Degree from Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2010 and has been board certified in ENT and head and neck surgery in 2016. Maud is performing a PhD in the lab and she is studying the role of cancer stem cell during resistance to cancer therapy.

Tatiana Revenco, MS

Tatiana Revenco obtained her MSc from Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in 2013. Tatiana joined our laboratory as a PhD student in October 2013. Tatiana is studying the role of EMT in metastasis.

Elisavet Tika, MS

Elsa Tika received her BSc in Biology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 2013. She subsequently obtained her MSc in Biomedical Sciences from Utrecht University, the Netherlands in 2016. After performing a rotation in the lab, Elsa joined our team as a PhD candidate. She is interested in defining the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate multipotency in the prostate.    

Benjamin Swedlund, MS

Benjamin obtained his Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Liège in 2017. He joined the lab to perform his Master’s thesis in 2016 and he is now performing his PhD since October 2017.Benjamin is studying the gene regulatory network that drives the specification of cardiovascular progenitors.

Alessia Centonze, MS

Alessia Centonze received her master degree in Medical Biotechnology in October 2016 at the University of Turin. Alessia joined our laboratory as a PhD student in January 2017. Alessia is studying the mechanism regulating multipotency in the mammary gland stem cells.

Yura Song, MS

Yura Song obtained her Master degree in Biochemistry from Ewha Womans University in 2018. She has worked in National Cancer Center in South Korea as bioinformatician from 2015 to 2018. Yura joined our laboratory in March 2018 and she is performing bioinformatic analysis of gene regulatory networks controlling development and cancers.

Marwan Benaissa-Touil Zariouh, MS

Marwan received his Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Sevilla (Spain). He obtained his Master degree in Gene, Cell and Tissue Biotherapies from the University of Paris-Saclay in 2018. After a year working as a research assistant at the Bassem Hassan lab in Paris (France) he joined our lab as a PhD in October 2019. He is studying the mechanisms by which epigenetic regulators mediate cancer initiation.

Nordin Bansaccal, MD

Nordin Bansaccal graduated as a Medical Doctor in 2017 at the Université Catholique de Louvain. He performed 2 years as intern in pediatrics. Nordin joined our laboratory in October 2019. He is studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms of clonal competition and field cancerisation.

Lucile Crevet, MS

Lucile Crevet obtained her master’s degree from Université Lyon 1 in June 2019. Lucile joined the lab in October 2019 as a PhD student. Lucile is studying the oestrogen signalling in mammary gland and in breast cancer.


Catherine Paulissen, BS

Catherine Paulissen received a BS in Medical Biology from la Haute Ecole André Vésale, Liège. Catherine is our lab manager since December 2006.

Gaelle Bouvencourt, BS

Gaelle is studying a BS in Chemistry at Haute Ecole Provinciale de Hainaut (HEPH Condorcet). Gaelle Bouvencourt performed a rotation in our lab in 2009 and joined the group in February 2010.

Virginie Moers, PhD

Virginie Moers obtained her PhD in the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2008 in the laboratory of Eric Belefroid. Virginie joined our laboratory in January 2011.

Christine Dubois, MS

Christine Dubois received a master degree in Biology from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Christine joined our lab in 2012 and is manager of the flow cytometry and cell sorting facility of the School of medicine.

Sebastien Delcambre, MS

Sébastien Delcambre received his Master degree in medical biology from the University of Mons (June 2014). He joined the group in February 2015 and he is now working at the PDX facility.

Sophie Lemaire, BS

Sophie Lemaire received her BS in Medical Biology at Institut Paul Lambin in 2005. She worked at the CODA-CERVA during 9 years. She joined our lab in October 2015.

Samuel Scozzaro, MS

Samuel Scozzaro received a Master degree in Biomedical sciences from Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in 2017. Samuel joined our laboratory in September 2017.

Anne-Lise Delaunois, MS

Milena Rozzi, MS

Jérémy Blondeau, BS

Zahra Zahedi, MS

Administrative staff

Marylene Poelaert, MA

Marylène Poelaert holds a Master in history and a Master in information science. She has been chief of staff for the President (Rector) of the Université Libre de Bruxelles for more than seven years.  Marylène is now Prof. Cedric Blanpain’s personal assistant and responsible for the administrative management of the laboratory of stem cells and cancer.

Previous lab members

Former PhD students


Antoine Bondue

Head of the department of cardiology, Erasme hospital, ULB, Belgium

Khalil Kass Youssef

Postdoc in Nieto lab, EMBO fellow, Alicante, Spain

Giuseppe Chiapparo

Postdoc in the laboratory of Reproduction, ULB, Belgium

Samira Chabab

Medical writer Life Sciences at Modis, Belgium

Guilhem Mascré

Programmer for mobile and web applications, Castanet-Tolosan, France

Aurélie Candi

Lead Biologist-Project Manager, CISTIM, Leuven, Belgium

Soufiane Boumahdi 

Postdoc in Fred de Sauvage lab, Genentech, USA

Andreas Karambelas

Jean Christophe Larsimont

Teaching Professional at EFP-BXL, Namur, Belgium

Aline Wuidart

Farida Benhadou

Dermatology service of Erasme hospital, Belgium.

Sophie Dekoninck, MS

Sophie Dekoninck defended her thesis in March 2020.

Former postdoctoral researchers 


Mariaceleste  Aragona

Group Leader at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology, DanStem, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Gaelle Lapouge

Head of the animal facility of the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

Adriana Sánchez-Danés

Principal Investigator at Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal.

Panagiota Sotiropoulou

Director Resarch and development, Celyad, Belgium

Gregory Driessens

Head of in vivo Pharmacology at iTeos Therapeutics SA

Benjamin Beck

FNRS assistant professor, WELBIO Investigator, ULB

Ana Sofia Rocha

Postdoctoral Fellow Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute - IDIBELL

May Yin Lee

Postdoctoral Fellow genome institute of Singapore

VijayaKumar Sukumaran

Assistant Professor, Qatar University, Qatar

Danny Nassar

Dermatologist at CedarMED Beirut, Lebanon

Mathilde Latil

Head of Animal biology at Biophytis - New Therapeutics for aging diseases

Audrey Brisebarre

Postdoctoral Fellow Université de Reims, France

Shigeru Matsumura

Associate Professor, Cancer Immune Therapy Research Center, Nagoya University

Marielle Ousset

INSERM, assistant professor, Toulouse, France

Fabienne Lescroart

CNRS, assistant professor, Marseille, France


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