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, the Francqui prize 2020 and the European Association for Cancer Research’s Mike Price Gold Medal Award 2022. He has been elected member of the EMBO in 2012, the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine, the Academia Europaea and the French Academy of Science - Institut de France (foreign member).

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

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.

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.

Kevin 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.

Louciné Mitoyan, PhD

Louciné obtained her PhD from Aix-Marseille University (France) in 2021. She joined our laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow in April 2022. She aims to understand cell-cell communications and how tumor states identity is regulated.

Anqi Dong, PhD

Anqi Dong obtained her PhD from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2021. Anqi joined our lab as a postdoctoral fellow in August 2022. Anqi is interested in the mechanisms regulating tumor heterogeneity and tumor cell-stromal cell interactions.

Sebastiaan Vanuytven, PhD

Sebastiaan Vanuytven obtained his Master's degrees in Biomedical Sciences and Bioinformatics from the KU Leuven in 2015 and 2017, respectively. He then completed his graduate study in the groups of Prof. Thierry Voet (KU Leuven) and Prof. Peter Van Loo (Crick). Sebastiaan joined the lab in 2023, and his research will focus on untangling cellular heterogeneity in cancer through the use of single-cell (multi-)omics.

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.

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.

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.

Elodie Baudelet, MS

Elodie obtained her Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the “Université Libre de Bruxelles” in 2021. She joined the lab to perform her master thesis in 2020 and is now performing a PhD since October 2021. Elodie is studying the gene regulatory network driving the specification of early cardiovascular progenitors and their differentiation into different cardiovascular cell lineages, using single cell approaches and an unbiased CRISPR-Cas9 screening.

Julie Sarrand, MD

Julie Sarrand obtained her medical degree (MD) at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in 2016. From 2016 to 2019, she has done internship in Internal general medicine and has since been a post-graduate in rheumatology. Julie joined our laboratory in October 2021. She's interested in tumor heterogeneity and more precisely in the characterization of gene regulatory networks controlling EMT.

Gabriel Windels, MS

Gabriel obtained his master at the Universite de Paris in 2021. He studied Biomedical Engineering and biotherapies with various extracurricular research activity. After that, worked on Bioinformatic profiling of tissue therapy donor at the French Bloodbank(EFS) for over one year before arriving at the Blanpain lab. Gabriel focuses on Bioinformatics in Clinical research and development and studies the profiling and description of cancer regulation and their heterogeneity at the single cell level in the context of regenerative cell therapies.

Brigida Novello, MS

Brigida Novello obtained her BSc in Biotechnology in 2019 and she completed her Master's Degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies" in 2021, both at University of Padua (Italy). She aims to define the contribution of retrotranspons expression and viral mimicry during mammary gland development and breast tumorigenesis

Dan Engelman, MD

Dan Engelman obtained his medical degree (MD) at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in 2019. From 2019 to 2022, he has conducted an internship in internal medicine and since is in training in medical oncology. Dan joined our laboratory in October 2022. He is studying the effect of multiple oncogenic hits on skin stem cells and tumor initiation

Louise Anciaux (MS)

Louise Anciaux obtained her Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) in 2022. She has joined our laboratory in October 2022. Louise is interested in tumor heterogeneity and is studying the gene regulatory network involved in chemotherapy and targeted therapy resistance, using single cell approaches and CRISPR-Cas9 loss of functions.


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.

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.

Ulysse Debroux, BS

Ulysse Debroux obtained a BS clinical pathology from la Haute École Léonard de Vinci in 2021. Ulysse joined our laboratory in January 2022.

Sarah Gieskes (BS)

Sarah Gieskes has obtained her bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory sciences from Erasmus Brussels University in 2021, she has been working in our laboratory since October 2022.

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


Alessia Centonze

Postdoctoral researcher at IRB Barcelona, Spain

Tatiana Revenco

Data Protection Manager & personnel development lead at Mydata-TRUST, Belgium

Sophie Dekoninck

Biomarker Lead at iTeos Therapeutics, Belgium

Farida Benhadou

Dermatologist at Erasme hospital, Belgium

Aline Wuidart

Jean Christophe Larsimont

Chief Technical Officer at Belgian Process Solutions, Dion-Valmont, Belgium

Andreas Karambelas

Soufiane Boumahdi 

Senior scientist at Iteos Therapeutics, Belgium

Aurélie Candi

Lead Biologist-Project Manager, CISTIM, Leuven, Belgium

Guilhem Mascré

Solftware developer at Labsoft, France

Samira Chabab

Senior Scientific Writer at GSK, Belgium

Giuseppe Chiapparo

Personal Development Lead and DPO at MyData-Trust, Belgium

Khalil Kass Youssef

Postdoc in Nieto lab, EMBO fellow, Alicante, Spain

Antoine Bondue

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

Former postdoctoral researchers 


Shuheng Lin

Postdoctoral researcher at The Cancer Research Center of Marseille, France

Pauline Vieugué

Plasmid engineering team leader at Polyplus, France

Federico Mauri

Principal Scientist in Cancer Research at Boehringer Ingelheim in Vienna

Ievgeniia Pastushenko

Director of the Laboratory of Histology, Neuroanatomy and Neuropathology at the Université libre de Bruxelles

Xionghui Lin

Senior Scientist at Ncardia, Belgium

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

Maylis Raphaël

QA assurance stérilité at GSK, Belgium

Manuel Zocco

Clinical Research & Development Lead at GSK, Belgium

Panagiota Sotiropoulou

CSO at T-knife Therapeutics, San Francisco, USA and Berlin, Germany

Özdemirhan Serçin

Group leader at BioMedX Institute, Heidelberg, Germany

Gregory Driessens

Senior Director, Project Head at iTeos Therapeutics SA, Belgium

Benjamin Beck

FNRS assistant professor, WELBIO Investigator, ULB

Ana Sofia Rocha

Postdoctoral Fellow Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute - IDIBELL, Spain

Rajshekhar Giraddi

Senior Scientist at Pfizer, San Diego, USA

May Yin Lee

Postdoctoral Fellow genome institute of Singapore

VijayaKumar Sukumaran

Assistant Professor, Qatar University, Qatar

Danny Nassar

Associate Professor in Dermatology, Université de Paris, France

Mathilde Latil

Head of Experimental Pharmacology at Biophytis, Paris, France

Audrey Brisebarre

Postdoctoral Fellow at the Université de Reims, France

Shigeru Matsumura

Associate Professor, Cancer Immune Therapy Research Center, Nagoya University

Marielle Ousset

CNRS researcher at RESTORE, Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier, France

Fabienne Lescroart

Group leader ATIP-Avenir at INSERM-Université de Marseille, France


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