Staff news October 2021

Welcome new colleagues

Sybren De Boever

On 01/10/21, Sybren De Boever started a Joint PhD (VUB-UGent) on the impact of micro- and nanoplastics on the liver. Main supervisor at the VUB is Prof. Mathieu Vinken. At UGent, he is part of the GLIPh group under promotership of Prof. Lindsey Devisscher. It is not yet clear which periods Sybren will work at UGent and when he will mainly be at the VUB but the intention is that the in vitro work will be performed at the VUB while the in vivo work is planned at UGent. This will involve using mouse models of liver cancer to investigate the effect of microplastics. Sybren followed a master Biochemistry at KUL (graduated in 2019) followed by a master Statistics (KUL graduated in 2021). Besides his studies, Sybren has been passionately involved with photography for 10 years.
Lander Heyerick

On 01/10/21 Lander Heyerick started in the GLIPh group with Prof. Devisscher. He will be working on a PhD on the role of immune cells in primary sclerosing cholangitis and colitis. For his research, he will initially try to collect single cell level transcriptome and epitome information on human liver, colon and blood samples in patients with PSC and/ or without UC. Through comparison with UC patients and healthy controls, an attempt will be made to distill which immune cells are the 'drivers' of the different disease states.

Lander combines his PhD with an ASO mandate (Internal Medicine). He graduated as a physician from UGent in 2019 and has been working full time clinically for the last 2 years. His ambition is to build a career in which he can combine clinical and research activities.

Joni Heymans In the physiology group, a new PhD student, Joni Heymans, started on October 1. She will work under the promotership of Prof. Alain Labro. Joni graduated magna cum laude from the University of Antwerp this summer, majoring in Biomedical Sciences (majoring in Molecular Mechanisms of Disease). The coming year she will focus on the elaboration of her research project and the preparation of a grant application.
Amy Maerten   Amy Maerten started a Joint PhD (VUB-UGent) just like Sybren on 01/10/21. Her research focuses on the effects of PFAS/PFOS on cholestatic liver disease. For UGent she will work in the GLIPh group under promotership of Prof. Lindsey Devisscher. At VUB, she will join the group of Prof. Mathieu Vinken. Amy graduated in June as a pharmacist (drug development) at VUB. In her spare time, she is a board member at Bewegingsschool Achilles and regularly rides a horse. She will start her research with the in vitro part at the VUB (at least 1,5 years) and will come to UGent for the in vivo research.


  • Eva Gijbels left the GLIPh group at the end of September. She is still completing her Joint PhD but already started on October 1 with a specialization in Clinical Biology at UGent. She starts with an internship at UZ Jette. We wish her the best of luck with the final steps towards her PhD and with her new professional plans!
  • The project on which Shahid Hussain worked under the supervision of Prof. Frank Bosmans came to an end in September. Shahid is leaving UGent. We wish him all the best with his new career plans!