Martin Guilliams - ONSET group

Research Field: ONtogeny and functional Specialization of myeloid cell subsETs (ONSET)

Group leader: Prof. Dr. Martin Guilliams

Tel: +32 9 33 13 740 - Fax: +32 9 221 76 73
Email: martin.guilliams.spam.detractor@irc.vib-UGentspam.corruptor.be

Research topic

Our research focuses on the development and functional specialization of macrophages (MΦs) and dendritic cells (DCs). To unravel the role of MΦs and DCs in the regulation of immune responses in vivo we have constructed novel DTR- or CRE- expressing knock-in mice that allow to deplete a particular MΦ or DC subset specifically in vivo or to knock-down genes of interests specifically within these cells. These novel knock-in mouse models include mice specific for liver resident Kupffer Cells and lung-resident Alveolar Macrophages. We are particularly interested in: (i) identifying the transcription factors that drive DC and MΦ development, (ii) unraveling how tissue-resident macrophages participate to the maintenance of tissue homeostasis and (iii) understanding how inflammation influences the development and function of DC and MΦ subsets.

Area of expertise

  • Ontogeny of dendritic cells and macrophages
  • Correct identification of dendritic cell and macrophage subsets across species and tissues in steady state and in various inflammatory settings
  • Construction of dendritic cell- and macrophage-specific knock-in mice for the study of the functional specialization of these cells in vivo.

Technology Transfer Potential

  • Novel mouse models for the study of Kupffer Cells and Alveolar macrophages in vivo.
  • Study of the role of dendritic cell and macrophage subsets in the regulation of immune responses.


SEM microscopy of a FACS sorted alveolar macrophage. (Click to enlarge)


SEM microscopy of a FACS sorted Kupffer Cell. (Click to enlarge)

Selected publications

  1. Guilliams M* Scott C* Does niche competition determine the origin of tissue-resident macrophages?
    Nature Reviews Immunology. 2017. 17, 451-460. * These authors contributed equally
  2. van de Laar L et al. Yolk Sac Macrophages, Fetal Liver, and Adult Monocytes Can Colonize an Empty Niche and Develop into Functional Tissue-Resident Macrophages.  
    Immunity. 2016. 44, 755-68.
  3. Sichien D et al. IRF8 Transcription Factor Controls Survival and Function of Terminally Differentiated Conventional and Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells, Respectively.
    Immunity. 2016. 45, 626-40.
  4. Guilliams M et al. Unsupervised High-Dimensional Analysis Aligns Dendritic Cells across Tissues and Species.
    Immunity. 2016. 45, 669-84, 2016.
  5. Scott C et al. Bone marrow-derived monocytes give rise to self-renewing and fully differentiated Kupffer cells.
    Nature Communications. 2016. 7, 10321.


Web of Science highly cited researchers 2017