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Current Experience

  • Ph.D researcher in Molecular Plant Biology
    Since January 2012
    Every living organism on Earth is supported by plants since plants are the only organisms (next to some algae and chemotrophic bacteria) that are able to convert solar energy into sugars and oxygen through photosynthesis. Like other organisms, plants are constantly subjected to changing environmental conditions which can be stressful and negatively affect growth. In contrast to most organisms, plants are sessile and thus need to constantly monitor and adapt to this changing environment in order to survive (while other organisms would just 'rush off'). This monitoring and adapting is done by the SnRK1 protein kinase. SnRK1 is strongly conserved between plants, mammals (AMPK, a major drug target in metabolic disease and cancer) and yeast (SNF1). My Ph.D work is performed in the KU Leuven research group led by Prof. Dr. Filip Rolland. Our group is interested in elucidating the SnRK1 signaling pathway and its role in controlling plant metabolism, development and stress tolerance in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana and in crop species. My research focusses on the point of integration of environmental stress signaling molecules (such as reactive oxygen species) into the SnRK1 signaling and reprogramming metabolism. I am also trying to elucidate the role of SnRK1 in autophagy, aging and senescence.

Past Experience

  • Creative Services Manager
    January 2014 --- January 2016
    In 2014 the 'Wadistjom?!' production company was founded by Alexander Vanhaesbroek, Dimitri Sterkens and myself. Wadistjom?! is a production company that focusses on societal relevant themes such as Dementia, Alzheimers' disease, etc. and visualizes these themes both photographically as with short-movies. Wadistjom?! has received the public prize at the Sundance London Film festival 2014, as well as the Belgian Shortfilm prize at the Suncance Londen Film festival. Next to that, Wadistjom?! specializes itself in commercials and promotional photography. Recently, Wadistjom?! has cooperated with Rotary Rotselaar and developed a short commercial, a promotional video and a photo shoot of the RTY Rotselaar 2nd Karting Day 2014. For more information on Wadistjom?!, please contact or .

  • Marketing Specialist and Head of Investor relations
    April 2011 --- November 2012
    In 2011, the KU Leuven selected a team of science students (and MAD-faculty students) to develop a project for the international Genetically Engineered Machine competition, organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Our team developed E.D. Frosti, a synthetically developed bacterium based on Biobricks. Depending on the given stimuli, the bacterium will prevent water from freezing at low temperatures, or enhance freezing of water low temperatures. Our team received a Golden medal in the European Jamboree at the University of Amsterdam (60 European Universities participated such as University London College (UCL) and University of Cambridge) for our project and was the first runner up for the 'Best presentation' award. Our project was selected as one of the 20 best European projects and thus we could join the World Championship which was held in November 2011 at the MIT. In this project I was the head responsible for marketing in which I needed to establish connections with the Belgian Biotechnology Industry to gain (long-term) Sponsorships. Together with Alice Uwineza, I kept the 12-headed team functioning optimally and Alice and I presented our project at the KU Leuven, University of Amsterdam (European Jamboree), MIT (World Championship), the University of Antwerp. We also gave a TEDx Antwerp talk in 2012 on e.d. Frosti and synthetic biology. Next to that, we also organized a debate and workshops on Synthetic biology (and its ethics). The project was done under supervision of Prof. Dr. Joris Winderickx of the KU Leuven.


LinkedIn Assessment :
Cell biologyBiochemistrymolecular biologyResearchBiotechnologyAnalytical SkillsCommercial PhotographyAcademic EnglishScientific WritingscienceChemistryPCRGeneticsConfocal MicroscopyMolecular & Cellular BiologyPhotoshopUrban AgricultureqPCRPlant BreedingTeachingGraphPad PrismLightroomEvent PhotographyPresentation SkillsMicroscopyPolymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)plant biology


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from KU Leuven in 2017
  • Master's Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from KU Leuven in 2012
  • Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from KU Leuven in 2010
  • High School in Wetenschappen Wiskunde from Kardinaal Van Roey Instituut in 2006


BrightOwl Assessment:
Self Assessment:
Full Proficiency
Professional Proficiency
Elementary Proficiency


    Expert has 3 publications (Will be avalible with full profile)

Area / Region

Leuven, Belgium


Driving License
  • Yes