Frank Van Breusegem
Frank Van Breusegem obtained in 1989 his Master in Zoology (Biotechnology) at Ghent University and in 1997 his PhD on "Engineering oxidative stress tolerance in maize" in Marc Van Montagu’s Laboratory of Genetics. In 2001, he became leader of the ‘Oxidative Stress Signalling’ group in the VIB Plant Systems Biology department, and in 2007 he was appointed professor at Ghent University, teaching ‘The Plant Factory’.
Inge De Clercq
Inge De Clercq graduated in 2007 as Bio-engineer at the faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University. In the same year, she obtained an IWT PhD fellowship in the Oxidative Stress Signaling group to unravel the signal transduction pathways between the mitochondria and the nucleus during abiotic and biotic stress (in collaboration with the Lab of Phytopathology, Prof. Monica Höfte). During her PhD, she peformed research during two months at the University of Western Australia (ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology). In 2013, she obtained her PhD and started a post-doctoral project in collaboration with Bayer Bioscience on the identification of key regulators of stress tolerance in Arabidopsis and on comparative transcriptomics in crops. In 2014, she moved to Melbourne to join the research group of Prof. Jim Whelan at La Trobe University to further elucidate the role of mitochondria and chloroplast retrograde in stress signalling. In the same year, she was granted an FWO Postdoctoral fellowship to continue on the retrograde project in a joint collaboration between the Van Breusegem and Whelan lab.
In 2006, Jenny Neukermans graduated in Biology at KULeuven. The following two years, she was working as a junior researcher at Bayer Bioscience. In 2008, she joined the Oxidative and Metabolic Signaling group of Graham Noctor at the Institut de Biologie des Plantes (Orsay, France) to study the interactions between light, CO2 and oxidative stress in Arabidopsis thaliana as part of the EU-funded Marie-Curie Initial Training Network ‘COSI’ (Chloroplast Signals). Jenny obtained a PhD in 2012 from the Université Paris Sud in Orsay, France. In the same year, she moved back to Ghent to join the Oxidative Stress Signaling group of Prof. Frank Van Breusegem (VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology). Currently, she is involved in a research project which aims to implement two novel antifungal peptides as a novel trait to improve antifungal resistance in agronomical important crops. This project is an IWT innovation mandate shared between the groups of Prof. Bruno Cammue (KULeuven - Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics) and Prof. Frank Van Breusegem (VIB - Department of Plant Systems Biology).
Katrien Van Der Kelen
Katrien Van Der Kelen obtained her Master Degree in Biotechnology in 2001 at Ghent University. She joined the Cell Cycle group of Lieven De Veylder at PSB where she was working on transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of the cell cycle in tobacco cell suspensions. She obtained her PhD in 2007. In 2008, she joined the Oxidative Stress Signaling group, headed by Frank Van Breusegem at PSB to study the epigenetic regulation of abiotic stress tolerance in oilseed rape. This research was done in frame of the Phoenix R&D industrial project in collaboration with Bayer CropScience. In 2011, she started working on the ‘Stressnet’ R&D industrial project in collaboration with Bayer CropScience to elucidate key players on the post-transcriptional level of the stress response to drought and salt.
Pavel Kerchev graduated as a chemist but soon after that he realized that plants are much more fascinating and joined the Institute for Plant Physiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He continued to explore further the molecular life of plants at INRA-Versailles during a one year Marie Curie training period, studying a mysterious phloem protein affecting sugar partitioning. He then started a PhD under the supervision of Christine Foyer split between the University of Leeds and the James Hutton Institute, during which he looked into the role of reactive oxygen species during aphid attack on plants. Following that he moved to the ‘Metabolic reprograming’ group of Johannes Hanson at the Umea Plant Science Center for a short postdoc. In 2012, he joined the Oxidative Stress Signaling group, where he is using a chemical genomics approach to study abiotic stress tolerance mechanisms. He is partially funded by the EU through the Pegasus and Omics@VIB Marie Curie Fellowships.
Jing Jing Huang
Jingjing Huang graduated as Master in Molecular biology and Biochemistry from Nanjing Agricultural University in 2009. In 2010, She Joined the Nitric Oxide(NO) group of Massimo Delledonne at the University of Verona in Italy to study the origins of NO in plants and mechanism of perceiving and responding to NO in plants. She obtained her doctoral degree in 2014, in the same year, she joined the Joris Messens group in the Structural Biology Research Center at Vrije Universiteit Brussels, she is currently working on the FWO-project ‘The ROS-wave in plants: signaling along the sulfenome’ in collaboration with the Frank Van Breusegem ‘s group.
Takanori Maruta obtained his PhD in 2009 at Kinki University (Japan) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Shigeru Shigeoka and then worked at the same lab as a postdoc. He studied the ascorbate biosynthesis, the physiological roles of ascorbate peroxidases (APXs) and Nudix hydrolases, and the chloroplast-derived hydrogen peroxide signaling. In 2011, he moved to Shimane University and started collaboration with Prof. Dr. Takahiro Ishikawa. In 2014, he joined the Oxidative Stress Signaling group, where he is studying the molecular mechanism of the photorespiratory hydrogen peroxide-induced cell death by genetic approach. He is funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS).
Simon Stael started his studies in the University of Ghent, Belgium, and finished his Master’s thesis in 2007 in Turku, Finland, in the lab of Prof. Eva-Mari Aro. This kick-started his interest in stress acclimation in plants. Thereafter, he did a PhD thesis in Vienna, Austria, on the ‘Discovery of organellar calcium signaling components in Arabidopsis thaliana’ in the Marie-Curie Initial Training Network ‘COSI’ (Chloroplast Signals) under the supervision of Dr. Markus Teige. Now (2012) he is back in Ghent for some more discovery with a focus on substrate proteins of metacaspases, with the aim to modulate programmed cell death in Arabidopsis thaliana during pathogen stress. This project is shared between the groups of Prof. Kris Gevaert (VIB Department of Medical Protein Research) and Prof. Frank Van Breusegem.
Aleksandra Lewandowska obtained her Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland in 2014. Her thesis was focused on the role of phytochromes in storage material metabolism in germinating tomato seeds. She is currently a VIB international PhD student, working on a project investigating oxitative stress response in catalase-defficient plants. It is a part of collaboration between VIB Department for Structural Biology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology, Gent University.
Barbara De Smet
Barbara De Smet graduated as master in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Ghent University in 2013. Currently she’s applying for an IWT grant to study the plant sulfenome in Arabidopsis and maize under abiotic stress conditions. This project is a collaboration with Joris Messens (VUB).
Valerie Van Ruyskensvelde
Valerie Van Ruyskensvelde graduated as a Master in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at Ghent University in 2013. During her master thesis at the Plant Systems Biology department (VIB, Ghent), she was involved in the functional analysis of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) in the abiotic stress response in Arabidopsis thaliana under the guidance of dr. Katrien Van Der Kelen and prof. dr. Frank Van Breusegem. In 2014, she was involved in an industrial project that aimed to unravel the mode-of-action of a growth promoting compound. From 2015, she obtained an IWT grant that aims to identify new regulators of the RNA homeostasis during the abiotic stress response in plants and to functionally assess the role of prioritized RBPs in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Patrick Willems graduated in 2013 as a Master of Science in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from the University of Ghent. He specialized his first year in Bio-Informatics and System Biology and changed his focus in his second year to Plant Biotechnology. He performed his master dissertation in the research group of Vaughan Hurry's lab in Umeå, adressing the topic of cold perception in Arabidopsis. Afterwards he started his PhD in the Oxidative Stress Signaling group, studying the role of plant proteases under oxidative stress. He is working in close collaberation on this subject with Prof. Dr. Kris Gevaert of the Proteomics and Bioinformatics group.
Huaming He obtained her Master degree on Agricultural Biological Environment and Energy Engineering at China Agricultural University and joined the Oxidative Stress Signaling group in 2014. Now she is focusing on identification of new molecular players in ROS signaling pathways.
Nandita Bodra graduated as a Master in Biotechnology at Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India in 2013. During her master thesis she was involved in characterization of peptidoglycan pathway enzyme, MurA (UDP-N-acetylglucosamine enolpyruvyl transferase) from Providencia alcalifaciens. Her work involved expression, purification and crystallization of MurA. She was also involved in structural & functional characterization of DAHPS (3-deoxy-D-arabinoheptulosonate-7-phosphate synthase) from Brachypodium distachyon using bioinformatics tools as her minor project. Afterwards she started PhD research in 2014 and her project aims to understand detailed structural and functional view of the mode of action of redox proteins involved in plant sulfenome during signaling and oxidative stress survival. It’s a collaboration work between VIB Department for Structural Biology, VUB and VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology, Ghent University.
Tom van der Meer
Tom van der Meer obtained in 2014 his Master Degree as a Plant Biotechnologist at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. His thesis focused on the growth characteristics of stromules in response to strigolactones in Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana tabacum. An additional internship was performed at the University of Exeter, UK where he studied the signal transduction pathways of powdery mildew in Barley, under the supervision of Dr. Mike Deeks. In 2015, he joined the lab of Prof. Dr. Van Breusegem to identify novel chemical structures that reduce the effects of oxidative stress in A. thaliana and important staple crops. This project is in close collaboration with the lab of Prof. Dr. Chris Stevens of UGent.
Cezary M Waszczak - Postdoc - University of Helsinki, Helsinki (FI)
Vanesa Tognetti - Research group leader - Central European Institute of Technology, Brno (CZ)
Tine Beunens – Teacher - Ghent (BE)
Anouk Brackenier – Project manager services - Flanders Bio (BE)
Katrien Curvers – Postdoctoral Researcher – UGent (BE)
Ilya Gadjev – Postdoctoral Fellow – National Institute of Agricultural Botany – Cambrigde (UK)
Iker Hernandez – Postdoctoral Researcher - University of Barcelona (ES)
Frank Hoeberichts - Researcher at NSure - Wageningen (NL)
Annelies Inze – Regulatory Affairs Officer at Takeda Belgium - Brussels (BE)
Dat James – Professor – Angers University (FR)
Stijn Morsa – Research associate at OxyRane – Ghent (BE)
Per Mühlenbock - Post Doc - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences - Malmö (SE)
Tamara Pecenkova – Researcher – Charles University – Prague (CZ)
Styliani Tsiatsiani - Postdoctoral researcher - Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics - Utrecht University (NL)
Olivier Van Aken – Postdoctoral Researcher – Department of Energy – Perth University (AU)
Brigitte Van de cotte – Technician – Functional Phosphoproteomics Group – PSB (BE)
Steven Vandenabeele – Research project manager, Rice - BASF – Ghent (BE)
Korneel Vandenbroucke – Junior groupleader – Bayer Cropscience – Ghent (BE)
Tim Van Gaever – Teacher – Ghent (BE)
Dominique Vercammen – IP Manager – Agrosavfe – Ghent (BE)