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).
Cedric Blanpain received several prestigious and highly competitive awards including EMBO Young investigator award, ERC starting, consolidator and advanced grants, the outstanding young investigator award of the ISSCR 2012, the Liliane Bettencourt award for life sciences 2012, the Joseph Maisin Award for basic biomedical Science 2015 and the Francqui prize 2020. He has been elected member of the EMBO in 2012, the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine, and the Academia Europaea.

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.

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

Rolando Vegliante obtained his PhD at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy) in 2016. He joined the lab in February 2019. He is interested in the mechanisms underpinning anti-cancer drug resistance.

Justine Lengrand, PhD

Justine Lengrand received her Master degree Therapeutic Innovation in Oncology in 2015 and her industrial PhD in 2020 from the University of Lyon. She joined the lab in March 2020. She's interested in tumor heterogeneity and the mechanisms of action for targeted therapy regulating EMT.

Corentin Schepkens, PhD

Corentin Schepkens obtained his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the University of Mons, Belgium, in 2020. Corentin joined our laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in February 2021. He is studying the impact of orphan nuclear receptors in tumor malignancy transition.

Kévin Bévant, PhD

Kevin Bévant obtained his PhD from the University of Rennes 1, France in 2021. Kevin joined the lab in June 2021 as a postdoctoral fellow. He is working on tumor heterogeneity and the identification of tumor states.

Chen Jiang, PhD

Chen Jiang received his M.S. from Nanjing University, China in 2015. He then obtained his Ph.D. from University of Marburg, Germany in 2021. In September 2021 he joined our lab as a postdoctoral fellow to study mechanisms regulating stem cell multipotency during tissue repair and tumor initiation.

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.

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.

Seyed Ahmad Mousavi, MS

Seyed Ahmad Mousavi graduated with a Master degree in software engineering. He worked as a Bioinformatician in Royan Institute for several years. He joined the laboratory in November 2020 as a PhD student.

Andrea Pérez Gonzalez, MS

Andrea Pérez González obtained her BSc in Biotechnology in 2019 and she subsequently received her Degree in Pharmacy (BPharm/MPharm) in 2021, both from Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (Spain). She has conducted research internships in the University of Cambridge (Amgen European Scholar), Santiago de Compostela University and the New York Stem Cell Foundation. In August 2021, Andrea received a ITN Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant to join the laboratory as a PhD student. As part of the Evomet research project, she aims to characterize the tumor transition states involved in metastasis.

Mónica Jordán Pirla, MS

Mónica Jordán received her BSc in Biomedical Sciences in 2019 and she obtained her MSc in Biomedicine in Basic and Translational Research in Cancer in 2020, both awarded by the University of Barcelona. In August 2021, Mónica received a ITN Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant to join ChromaCure and the laboratory as a PhD student. She is studying the genes and signalling pathways involved in metastatic cancer dormancy.


Catherine Paulissen, BS

Catherine Paulissen received a BS in Medical Biology from la Haute Ecole André Vésale, Liège. Catherine has been working in the laboratory 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.

Mélanie Liagre, BS

Mélanie Liagre received her BS in Biochemistry at Haute Ecole Provinciale de Hainaut (HEPH Condorcet) in 2012. She joined our lab in December 2012.

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

Anne-Lise Delaunois obtained her Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Université Catholique de Louvain in 2019. She joined our laboratory in February 2020.

Jérémy Blondeau, BS

Jérémy Blondeau received a BS in Medical Biology from la Haute École Louvain en Hainaut (HELHa), Montignies-sur-Sambre in 2019. Jérémy joined our laboratory in February 2020.

Milena Rozzi, MS

Milena Rozzi obtained her Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Université Catholique de Louvain in 2015. She joined our laboratory in February 2020.

Zahra Zahedi, MS

Zahra Zahedi holds a MS in Animal Genetics and Breeding from TMU, Teheran, Iran and a MS in Molecular Biology from VUB, Bruxelles, Belgium. She started to work in the laboratory in March 2020.

Alice Boinet, BS

Alice Boinet received a BS in Analytics and experimental Biology in 2018 from Institut Universitaire de technologie, Tours (France). Alice joined our laboratory in September 2020.

Esha Mehta, MS

Esha Mehta received her BSc. Biomedical Sciences from the University of Reading (2014), her MSc. Forensic Science from King's College London (2017) and her MSc. Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine from University College London (2020). She has been a part of the lab since March 2021.

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

Postdoctoral researcher at ChromaCure SA

Former postdoctoral researchers 


Federico Mauri

Principal Scientist in Cancer Research at Boehringer Ingelheim in Vienna

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

Özdemirhan Serçin

Postdoctoral researcher at BioMedX Institute, Heidelberg, Germany

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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