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Experimental Haematology Laboratory (HEMEXP)

The Experimental Haematology Laboratory is dedicated to fundamental and applied research in the field of haematology and immunology. It operates in symbiosis with the Institut Bordet Haematology Clinic. One of the Laboratory’s strengths lies in the very tight interaction between researchers, the Haematology cell therapy unit (UTCH) and the clinicians responsible for innovative clinical protocols. The Laboratory brings together a range of skills that make it possible to run projects taking different approaches: cellular and molecular biology, immunology, genomics and next generation sequencing (NGS) and cell therapy. 

The Experimental Haematology Laboratory is essentially active in three key areas:

  • the immune microenvironment in acute leukaemia
  • carcinogenesis induced by the oncoretroviruses HTLV-1 and BLV
  • immunosenescence in patients suffering from lymphoma and chronic lymphoid leukaemia.

Our research has some very important spin-off effects, not only in improving our understanding of the immune system but also in defeating leukaemia and developing clinical decision tools. The new therapeutic approaches based on the immune system promise to be less toxic and more effective in the long term.

Research projects

Project 1

T lymphocyte regulators and MicroRNAs in acute leukaemia

Project 2

Epigenetic regulation of the immune microenvironment in acute leukaemia

Projet 3

Capacity of thymoquinone to induce apoptotic and non-apoptotic cell death in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

Project 4

Deciphering noncoding transcript dependent oncogenic mechanisms and identifying novel cancer drivers in HTLV-1/BLV models of leukemia.
  • Project leader : Anne Van Den Broeke
  • Collaborations : 
    • Michel Georges : GIGA Medical Genomics, Unit of Animal Genomics, Université de Liège, Belgium
    • Philip Griebel : Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO/Intervac), University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
    • Madeleine Duc Dodon : ENS Lyon, France
    • Genoveffa Franchini : NCI/NIH Bethesda, USA
    Funding : Les Amis de l'Institut Bordet, FNRS, Televie, WALInnov, Fondation Lambeau Marteau

Project X

Monitoring therapeutic response in ATL and predicting carriers’ risk of progression using optimized NGS clonality methods
  • Project leader : Anne Van Den Broeke
  • Collaborations :
    • Michel Georges : GIGA Medical Genomics, Unit of Animal Genomics, Université de Liège, Belgium
    • Olivier Hermine : Hôpital Necker Enfants Malades and Institut Imagine, Paris, France
    • Toshiki Watanabe and Kaoro Uchimaru : Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology and JSPFAD, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • Funding : Les Amis de l'Institut Bordet, Televie

Projet Y

Uncovering the key drivers that shape tumor evolution and oncogenic switch: single-cell precision over bulk in viral models of cancer.
  • Project leader : Anne Van Den Broeke
  • Collaborations :
    • Michel Georges : GIGA Medical Genomics, Unit of Animal Genomics, Université de Liège, Belgium
    • Thierry Voet : KU Leuven, Belgium and Sanger Institute, UK
    • Philip Griebel : Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO/Intervac), University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
  • Funding : TelevieLes Amis de l'Institut Bordet, International Brachet Stiftung (IBS)

Project 5

Immunosenescence in patients suffering from lymphoma and chronic lymphoid leukaemia: down-regulation of BACH2 in lymphocyte sub-types according to age and correlation with the tumour suppressor gene (TP53 & INK16a)
  • Project leader : Dominique Bron
  • Collaboration : Prof Tamas Fulop (Université de Sherbrooke)
  • Funding : Fondation Yvonne Boël

Project 6

The immune microenvironment of acute leukaemia
- Correlation between transcriptome, methylome and miRome (Bioinformatics)
- Functional characterisation of T-Regs in healthy donors and in patients suffering from acute leukaemia

 Scientific publications

Mesenchymal stromal cells and natural killer cells: a complex story of love and hate.

Authors : Najar M, Fayyad-Kazan M, Merimi M, Burny A, Bron D, Fayyad-Kazan H, Meuleman N, Lagneaux L
Year : 2019
Journal : Curr Stem Cell Res Ther
Volume : 14(1)
Pages : 14-21

Empowering the immune fate of bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells: gene and protein changes.

Authors : Najar M, Ouhaddi Y, Bouhtit F, Melki R, Afif H, Boukhatem N, Merimi M, Fahmi H
Year : 2019
Journal : Inflamm Res
Volume : 68(2)
Pages : 167-176

[Prophylaxis of infections post-allogeneic transplantation: Guidelines from the Francophone Society of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (SFGM-TC)].

Authors : Lewalle P, Pochon C, Michallet M, Turlure P, Brissot E, Paillard C, Puyade M, Roth-Guepin G, Yakoub-Agha I, Chantepie S
Year : 2019
Journal : Bull Cancer

Reciprocal immuno-biological alterations occur during the co-culture of natural killer cells and adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stromal cells.

Authors : Najar M, Fayyad-Kazan M, Merimi M, Meuleman N, Bron D, Fayyad-Kazan H, Lagneaux L
Year : 2019
Journal : Cytotechnology

Long-term follow-up of a phase 3 clinical trial of inolimomab for the treatment of primary steroid refractory aGVHD.

Authors : Socié G, Milpied N, Yakoub-Agha I, Bay JO, Fürst S, Bilger K, Suarez F, Michallet M, Lewalle P, Liens D, Mathis C, Guemas E, Vernant JP
Year : 2019
Journal : Blood Adv
Volume : 3
Pages : 184-186

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