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Rigorous, independent and having good social skills, I would like to take on new challenges and continue learning in a dynamic environment.


Past Experience

  • PhD student - Biomedical Sciences
    December 2010 --- October 2015
    Due to their immunomodulatory properties, human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) are considered promising candidates for cell based immune therapy a.o. to avoid graft rejection. They maintain and support hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) survival and proliferation. MSCs could also be used as cell vehicles for shRNAs, for their tumor tropism to bring a suicide gene in cancer therapy approaches. Alternatively MSCs constitute very interesting candidates for cell therapy because they can differentiate along several lineages (osteoblasts, chondroblasts, adipocytes,…). Dr.Laurence Lagneaux’s group (Institut J. Bordet, ULB) has developed different techniques to isolate MSCs from bone marrow, peripheral and cord blood, Wharton jelly of the umbilical cord, foreskin and adipose tissue. Our group has identified the Double Homeobox 4 (DUX4) gene within repeated DNA elements in the 4q35 chromosome region linked to facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). This gene is inappropriately activated in FSHD muscle cells and expresses a transcription factor that initiates a large gene deregulation cascade causing the pathology. We have unexpectedly found that DUX4 expression was induced upon hMSC differentiation to osteoblasts. This process involved 52-kDa DUX4 known in FSHD muscles and a new longer protein form (58 kDa). During osteogenic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) that carry the FSHD genetic defect a DUX4 mRNA with a more distant 5’ start site was characterized that presented a 60-codon reading frame extension and encoded the 58-kDa protein (DUX4M60). Transfections of hMSCs with an antisense oligonucleotide targeting DUX4 mRNAs decreased both the 52- and 58-kDa protein levels and confirmed their identity. Gain and loss of function experiments in hMSCs suggested these DUX4 proteins had opposite roles in osteogenic differentiation as evidenced by the alkaline phosphatase activity and calcium deposition. The differentiation was delayed by 58-kDa DUX4 expression, but it was increased by 52-kDa DUX4. These data indicate a role for DUX4 protein forms in the osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs. We also detected DUX4 forms of different sizes in hMSCs isolated from Wharton jelly and adipose tissue and their induction during adipogenesis. DUX4 proteins were also immunodetected in healthy and FSHD human embryonic stem cells. In conclusion, we have demonstrated the expression of DUX4 and a larger 58-kDa DUX4 protein form (DUX4M60) in MSCs and their opposite role in osteoblastic differentiation. In contrast 52-kDa DUX4 favors differentiation in this model like in others. Several therapeutic approaches for FSHD are being developed that aim to interfere with DUX4 expression. Our present study indicates essential functions in MSC differentiation that should not be suppressed and demonstrates the need for specific muscle targeting of DUX4-suppressing agents.

  • Student job
    September 2011 --- September 2011
    Protocol design

  • Teaching assistant
    March 2011 --- May 2011


Self Assessment :


Self Assessment :
droplet digital PCRMesenchymal stromal cell cultureMolecular & Cellular BiologyGood Manufacturing Practice (GMP)
LinkedIn Assessment :
ImmunofluorescenceWestern BlottingRT-PCRqPCRHistologyIn Situ Hybridization

Skills and Expertise

Self Assessment :
Develop protocols Guide studentsAnalyze dataWrite papersAdjust methodscoordinating research projectslifescienceManuscript preparationOrganise meetingsPresent data at congressProtocol managementPublication of articlesResearch at universitiesUse western blotting technique


  • Ph.D. in Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of Mons in 2015
  • Master in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from University of Mons in 2010
  • Bachelor in Biology from University of Mons-Hainaut in 2008

Training and Certification

  • Cell culture Certification
  • GMP advanced Certification
  • GMP discovery Certification


BrightOwl Assessment:
Self Assessment:
Professional Proficiency

Work Preferences

  • Work From Home:
    Yes, 0 to 2 days per week
  • Work Regime:
    Permanent position
    BrightOwl employee
  • International:


    Expert has 2 publications (Will be avalible with full profile)

Area / Region

Saint-Symphorien, Mons, Belgique


Driving License
  • Yes