Evelien Hesemans
Evelien Hesemans PhD student
Development and validation of optical imaging tools for advanced preclinical cancer research

In today’s society, the costs of cancer care are enormous and new cases of cancer will only further increase the burden on the healthcare system. In addition, the health care approach is evolving towards personalized medicine and novel compounds are rapidly developed. Therefore, efficient, rapid, and cost-effective analysis methods are greatly needed. This is particularly true for various biomedical applications where low cell numbers need to be detected and for which currently no suitable preclinical detection method exists. To overcome these limitations, my project aims to develop a novel methodology based on a recently set up optical imaging method that has already demonstrated superior sensitivity in the visualization of limited cell numbers. In combination with genetic engineering approaches, I will set up different models enabling the detection and functional studies of major oncology-related questions that thus far have been very difficult to address, including the detection of therapy-resistant cells, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and associated metastasis formation and the detection of cancer stem cells and their viability in live animals. These new methods will further boost the development of advanced cancer therapeutics by academic and industrial partners and promote our understanding of these complex mechanisms.

Promotor: Prof. Stefaan Soenen

Co-promotor: Dr. Bella Manshian

List of Publications