The DNA Repair and Chemoresistance research group focuses on the DNA repair and epigenetic mechanisms that operate in adult and pediatric glioblastoma (GBM) to identify critical targets for novel therapeutic strategies. 


Beyond their role in preventing genetic instability and tumorigenesis, DNA repair and epigenetic mechanisms also contribute to the resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic genotoxicants. These mechanisms are responsible in great part for the failure of current anti-glioma therapies. The DNA Repair and Chemoresistance research group is developing several approaches to better understand the DNA repair and epigenetic mechanisms that operate in adult and pediatric glioblastoma (GBM) and identify critical targets for novel therapeutic strategies. These approaches include: 

  • shRNA screens targeting components of the DNA damage response (DDR) in GBM stem-like cell lines (GSCs) 
  • Multiplexed gene expression analyses of GBM patient biopsies 
  • In vitro drug repositioning screens of GSCs representative of GBM patient subgroups  
  • Molecular characterisation of the mechanisms underlying DNA replication stress and the DDR in GSCs 
  • Characterisation of relevant xenograft animal models 

A second line of investigation explores the molecular mechanisms governing the dynamics of heterochromatic regions and their impact on genomic stability in mammalian cells. 

International collaborators include: 

  • Drs Patrick Calsou, Sébastien Britton and Florence Larminat (Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale, Toulouse, France) 
  • Dr. Jean-Yves Masson (CHU de Québec Research Center, Québec City, Canada)  
  • Dr. Ross Carruthers (Institute of Cancer Sciences, Glasgow, UK) 
  • Dr. Philippe Pasero (Institut de Génétique Humaine, Montpellier, France) 
  • Drs. Bernard Rogister and Virginie Neirinckx (GIGA-Neurosciences, Liège, Belgium) 
  • Dr. Natacha Entz-Werlé (Laboratory Bioimaging and Pathologies, Tumoral Signaling and Therapeutic Targets, Faculty of Pharmacy, Illkirch, France) 
  • Drs Christel Herold-Mende and Rolf Warta (University Clinic Heidelberg, Germany) 
  • Drs Roland Golbrunner and Marco Timmer (University Clinic Köln, Germany) 
Van Dyck

Projects & clinical trials

  • DNA repair and cell cycle gene expression signatures in adult and pediatric glioblastoma: from gene expression studies to precision medicine for GBM.  
  • Harnessing DNA repair, chromatin dynamics and telomere maintenance mechanisms in GBM: toward the identification of novel targets for therapeutic strategies against GBM.  
  • Targeting tumor propagating cells in glioblastoma: from mechanistic insights to precision medicine. 
  • Exploring the interrelationship between DNA repair components and the immune response in GBM.

Featured team members

  • Ana Catarina
    PhD Student
  • Hanane
    PhD Student
  • Max
    PhD Student
  • Céline
    Laboratory Technician
  • Katrin
    Laboratory Technician
  • Alexandros
    PhD Student
  • Miriam
    Torres Fernández
    PhD Student
  • Lucas
    PhD Student

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