Lab members and alumni

 

Frank Van Breusegem

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

Postdoctoral fellow

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.

Jing Jing Huang

Jing Jing Huang

Postdoctoral fellow

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.

Simon Stael

Simon Stael

Postdoctoral fellow

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.

Amna Mhamdi

Amna Mhamdi

Postdoctoral fellow

Amna Mhamdi obtained her Master Degree in Plant Physiology and Biotechnology in 2006 at Tunis El Manar University (Tunisia). In 2007, she started her PhD in the group of Graham Noctor at Université de Paris Sud (France) and she investigated the roles of enzymes involved in glutathione and NADPH reduction in oxidative stress signaling. After obtaining her PhD in 2010, she stayed in the same lab and continued as a post-doctoral researcher. From 2016, she joined the Oxidative Stress Signaling group, headed by Frank Van Breusegem at PSB to study the photorespiratory hydrogen peroxide signaling mechanisms and cysteine oxidation events that occur during plant responses to stress. To address these questions, Amna regularly uses transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic profiling.

Zhicheng Zhang

Zhicheng Zhang

Postdoctoral fellow

Zhicheng began his studies in the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and graduated there as master of biochemistry and biotechnology. Afterwards, he finshined the PhD in the lab of Prof. Koen Geuten, the group of Molecular Biotechnology of Plants and Micro-organisms. He has mainly focused on two research directions. One direction is focusing on the molecular evolution of MADS-box genes at the origin of flower and of core-eudicots through an ancient whole genome gamma triplication. For another one, he's developing a method applied for plant cells and tissues to study the interactome between RBProeme and transcriptome in post-transcriptional gene regulation (PTGR). Currently after his PhD, he's decided to follow the latter direction for probably further studying this interactome in plants under stress. He's thus luckily become as a new post-doc in the lab of Prof. Frank Van Breusegem, the group of oxidative stress signalling in VIB. His recent application for postdoctoral FWO funding is understanding the molecular mechanisms of PTGR in plant stress priming.

Kai Xun Chan

Kai Xun Chan

Postdoctoral fellow

Kai Xun Chan graduated from the Australian National University (ANU) with a Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours) in 2010; and subsequently with a PhD in Plant Sciences in 2016 under the supervision of Professor Barry Pogson and Dr Gonzalo Estavillo, elucidating the biochemical and structural regulation of a chloroplast signaling protein that also acts as an oxidative stress sensor. He continued with a postdoctoral appointment in Prof Pogson's lab, where he focused on the interaction between chloroplast and hormonal signalling in guard cells which regulate water loss during drought. During this time at the ANU he also set up a chemical genomics screening platform to identify novel regulators of chloroplast signalling. In 2018 Kai moved to Prof Frank Van Breusegem's lab at VIB-Ugent as a recipient of the FWO postdoctoral fellowship, where he will investigate the intersection between chloroplast and mitochondrial signalling in plant cells.

Su Yin Phua

Su Yin Phua

Postdoctoral fellow

Su Yin Phua graduated from the Australian National University (ANU) in 2010 with a Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours) and in 2016 with a PhD in Plant Sciences under the supervision of Professor Barry Pogson and Dr Gonzalo Estavillo. After submitting her PhD thesis, she worked as laboratory manager / senior technical officer for the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, ANU. She then continued her research at the ANU, which mainly focused on investigating the role of a chloroplast retrograde signal [3’-phosphoadenosine-5’-phosphate (PAP)] in regulating plant growth and stress tolerance. She is currently identifying new molecular players in reactive oxygen species (ROS) signalling pathway in Frank Van Breusegem’s group, with the aim of further unravelling the signalling and response mechanisms behind the regulation of plants growth and stress tolerance.

Patrick Willems

Patrick Willems

Postdoctoral fellow

Patrick Willems graduated in 2013 as a Master of Science in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from the University of Ghent, specializing in Bio-Informatics and System Biology combined with 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 joined the Oxidative Stress Signaling group of Frank Van Breusegem and obtained his doctoral degree in 2018. After being active as a post-doctoral scientist under Petra Van Damme, studying unannotated proteins in Salmonella enterica, he is currently active in the Oxidative Stress Signaling group to elucidate the role of post-translational modifications in oxidative stress signaling.

Huaming He

Huaming He

Postdoctoral fellow

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.

Wenyan Li

Wenyan Li

Postdoctoral fellow

Wenyan Li obtained his PhD degree in Genetics from Sun Yat-sen University in 2010. Now, he works at Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences and his research interests are focused on the molecular mechanism of reactive oxygen species (ROS) involved in seed germination, seedling growth, as well as in response to abiotic stress in rice. In 2018, he obtained a CSC-Scholarship and therefore joined the laboratory of Prof. Frank Van Breusegem i.e. Oxidative Stress Signaling group for one-year research stay as a visiting scholar, aiming to understand the integration of plant organellar communication under environmental stress.


Aleksandra Lewandowska

Aleksandra Lewandowska

Predoctoral fellow

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

Predoctoral fellow

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

Predoctoral fellow

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.

Bo Wei

Bo Wei

Predoctoral fellow

Bo Wei graduated as Master in Cell Biology from Hefei University of Technology (China) in 2016. He is a joint PhD student between the labs of Frank Van Breusegem at UGent and Joris Messens at Vrije Universiteit Brussels. He obtained a CSC-Scholarship to work on sulfenic acid site-identification of proteins in the plant sulfenome.

Alvaro Fernandez

Alvaro Fernandez

Predoctoral fellow

Alvaro Fernandez graduated in Molecular Biology at the University of Leon, Spain. After studying a Master in Granada and a short period working for industry he enrolled a ManaMa at Ghent University. He is currently studying the function of plant proteases, aiming to unveil the mechanisms that govern their activity.

Xi Yang

Xi Yang

Predoctoral fellow

Xi Yang obtained her Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the Zhejiang University, China in 2016. Her thesis was focused on the function analysis of precocious leaf senescence gene OsPLS1 in rice. In the same year,she started her PhD in PSB, studying oxidative stress signal transduction.

Xiaopeng Luo

Xiaopeng Luo

Predoctoral fellow

Xiaopeng Luo obtained his master’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Sichuan Agricultural University (China) in 2017. In the same year, he joined the Oxidative Stress Signaling group. He is now focusing on the study of mitochondria-to-nucleus communication in plant stress responses.

Jonas De Backer

Jonas De Backer

Predoctoral fellow

Jonas De Backer graduated in 2019 as master of Bioscience Engineering: Cell and Gene Biotechnology (Bio-engineer) at the faculty of Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University. During his master thesis under the guidance of Prof. Monica Höfte and Dr. Inge De Clercq at the Oxidative Stress Signaling group of Prof. Van Breusegem, he was involved in the study of the post-translational activation of transcription factors involved in retrograde signalling of plant stress responses. Currently he’s applying for an FWO PhD fellowship to further study this topic in the context of biotic stress responses in collaboration with the lab of Prof. Monica Höfte (Lab of Phytopathology, Ghent University).

Zeya Chen

Zeya Chen

Predoctoral fellow

Zeya Chen obtained her bachelor and master degree on Viticulture and Enology at Northwest A&F University in China and her thesis was focused on the phytohormone on grape seedlings under environmental stress. In2019, she joined the Oxidative Stress Signaling group and now she is focusing on S-sulfenylation and S-sulfinylation in Arabidopsis under oxidative stress.

Panfeng Yao

Panfeng Yao

Predoctoral fellow

Panfeng Yao graduated as Master in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Sichuan Agricultural University (China) in 2016. His thesis was focused on MYB/bHLH/WD40 transcription factors mediated stress tolerance and secondary metabolic in tartary buckwheat. For now, he is a joint PhD student between the labs of Frank Van Breusegem at UGent University and Qi Wu at Sichuan Agricultural University. He obtained a CSC-Scholarship to work on unraveling the effect of chloroplast calcium signaling on photosynthesis and plant stress responses.


Robin Pottie

Robin Pottie

Lab manager

Robin Pottie graduated in 2017 as Bachelor in Biomedical Laboratory Technology at Odisee Technologycampus Gent. During his bachelor he worked on a project for Dr. Simon Stael developing genetic and chemical tools to alter the calcium flux in chloroplasts.

 

Xingliang Duan 
Aleksandra Lewandowska – European Food Safety Association (EFSA) Parma, Italy
Valerie Van Ruyskensvelde 
– Laboratorium ECCA, Merelbeke (BE)
Tom van der Meer – Postdoc – Wageningen University & Research, Testerinck Lab (NL)
Nandita Bodra – Postdoc – University of Oxford (GB)
Sam D'Haeyer
 – VIB Compound screening facility
Pavel Kerchev – Transfer Manager at CEITEC - Central European Institute of Technology
Jenny Neukermans
Takanori Maruta 
– Postdoc – Shimane University (JP)
Katrien Van Der Kelen
Lorin Spruyt
Silke Jacques
Salma Akter
Jordi Denecker
Aurine Verkest

Cezary M Waszczak – Postdoc – University of Helsinki, Helsinki (FI)
Vanesa Tognetti – Research group leader – Central European Institute of Technology, Brno (CZ)
Beatrice Belenghi
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 Inzé – 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)