Jean-Christophe MARINE (BE)
Scientist in Residency with Sandra LORENZI & Kuang-Yi KU
Jean-Christophe Marine obtained his PhD from the University of Liège, (Belgium, 1996), and was a Howard Hugues Medical Institute Fellow at the St Jude Children's Research Hospital (Memphis, USA, 1996-99). He was a Marie Curie Fellow at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO, Milan, Italy, 2000-2003).
He became a junior VIB Group leader in 2004 at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and moved his laboratory to the University of Leuven (KULeuven) in 2010 where he is now Professor, senior VIB group leader and Director of the VIB center for Cancer Biology. He received several national and international prizes for his work on p53 modifiers and melanoma biology. His interests focus on the mechanisms by which cancer-specific non-mutational (i.e. epigenetic and (post-)transcriptional) events modulate tumor initiation, progression and therapy outcome. Our laboratory has recently developed a growing interest in several aspects of melanoma biology, and in particular, in the identification of melanoma initiating cells and the mechanisms that contribute to early tumor development, emergence of inter- and intra-tumor heterogeneity and therapy resistance.
In lay terms this means that we are trying to understand how and why a normal cells become cancerous and find strategies to overcome this transformation. We also develop strategies that prevent these cells to disseminate to other organs and thereby kill patients. Finally, we also try to develop therapies targeting advance diseases, a very challenging task because most advanced cancers almost invariably find an escape route to the current treatments, a phenomenom known as therapy resistance.
Why should art and science work together?
"Public awareness: a piece of art can tell much more than a scientific fact/image. There is beauty in science that only scientific can see. Translating this beauty into something that other people can see and appreciate may increase public awareness and their interest for what we do.
Mutual/reciprocal inspiration: being inspired often means exchanging with people from very different background. They may help open your eyes to obvious things that are in front of you but that you cannot see because of who you are or what you do."