Research Field: Integrated Regulatory Networks / Systems Biology
Group leader: Prof. Dr. Ir. Vanessa Vermeirssen
Tel: +32 9 331 35 46
Technological advancements have led to a wealth of omics data in bulk, but also more and more at single cell level: genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, ... The capacity to integrate multi-omics data, to something more than the sum of the existing data, is key to elucidating the causes of complex diseases such as neuro-inflammatory diseases and cancer. Regulatory networks are a valuable tool to map systems-wide the relationships between DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites and to understand the molecular mechanisms by which these molecules influence health and disease. Our research focuses on acquiring a functional understanding of gene regulation and signaling through multi-omics data integration and regulatory network inference, with specific attention to the impact of the environment. To this end, we develop and apply computational approaches involving statistics, bioinformatics and machine learning. Our ultimate goal is to use this knowledge in the development of novel preventive or therapeutic strategies for successful personal healthcare. We are embedded in a multidisciplinary consortium of the inflammatory gut-brain axis where we aim to unravel the molecular mechanisms of gut-brain communication in neuro-inflammatory disorders. We are also involved in cancer research, where our goals are to identify novel driver genes and pathways, characterize tumors and the interaction with their environment, and contribute to personalized medicine.
Areas of expertise
Technology transfer potential