In cancer, infection and inflammation, the immune system’s function is dysregulated, contributing to disease pathology. As part of this process, instead of fighting disease, immune cells may even suppress beneficial immune responses and increase pathology. Despite their pathophysiological importance, the identity and biology of the so called myeloid regulatory cells (MRCs) is poorly understood.
European Network of Investigators Triggering Exploratory Research on Myeloid Regulatory Cells
Action Chair: Sven Brandau (DE)
Vice-Chair: Annabel Valledor (ES)
Jo Van Ginderachter graduated with a Master in Bioengineering Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (1995). He performed his PhD in the lab of Patrick De Baetselier studying the interaction between mouse lymphoma models and the immune system (2002). Subsequently, he became Research & Development coordinator at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (2003) and postdoctoral researcher and staff scientist in the lab of Cellular and Molecular Immunology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, focusing primarily on the interplay between myeloid cells (macrophages, monocytes, MDSCs) and tumors. He became an assistant professor in Immunology in 2010 and full professor Immunology in 2014.
Since 2012, Jo Van Ginderachter is head of the Cellular and Molecular Immunology lab at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Group Leader of VIB (Flemish Institute for Biotechnology), an excellence-based research institute in the biomedical field with a strong focus on translating breakthrough discoveries to applications in the field. His lab’s mission is to use the heterogeneity of myeloid cells (MCs) as an in vivo sensor to track inflammatory responses and as a target for therapeutic intervention (Figure 1). Recent evidence reveals that tissue-associated MCs contain different subpopulations with different ontological origin, including embryonic yolk sac and fetal liver-derived resident macrophages and adult bone marrow-derived recruited MCs (mainly monocytes, monocyte-derived macrophages, neutrophils and dendritic cells). Evidence is mounting that these MC subpopulations perform distinct functions in health and disease. Thus, the lab focuses on studying (epi)genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and functional heterogeneity of different MC subpopulations present in selected inflamed tissues, in particular in tumors (tumor-associated macrophages, myeloid-derived suppressor cells and dendritic cells), the liver (Kupffer cells), and the brain (microglia).
Within Mye-EUNITER, Jo Van Ginderachter is Work Group 2 leader together with Sven Brandau, and is the Belgian representative in the consortium together with Pierre Van der Bruggen.