Teacher, Researcher, Writer, Manager, Planner, Presenter, Team Player; These are only a few of the roles I play every day, whether at work or at home.
A biomedical researcher by training, my job requires me to be polyvalent on every level. I teach, mentor and tutor students in the classroom and in the lab. I develop and carry out research. I analyze data and interpret results. I write reports, articles, and presentations, to disseminate my work from North to South. And all this while I try to find the most efficient way to do it, and to stay on track with new methods, new technologies, and all over best ways to solve any given problem at hand.
And as a father of an active, curious, and at times challenging 2-year-old boy, and a highly successful, hard working wife, I do the same thigs at home.
Most of all, I enjoy learning new things, and I like being good at what I learn. And occasionally, I get bored, most of the time, when not sufficiently challenged, or when my effort appears unappreciated.
I strive to be a valuable addition to any team I work in, by providing curiosity, reflection, skill, eagerness to solve problems and to bring any project to the best possible outcome.
Since July 2015
In my current research I am taking an interest in the influence of environmental factors on neurodegenerative disease. In 1982, 6 previously healthy patients with Parkinson-like symptoms were admitted to an emergency room in California. They were diagnosed with MPTP intoxication, a contaminant of the recreational drug MPPP. MPTP is degraded into MPP+ in the brain, a severely neuro-toxic product that affects specifically dopaminergic neurons, the cell type that is also affected during Parkinson's disease. It was quickly discovered that MPP+ is structurally nearly similar to paraquat, a pesticide that is now prohibited in most countries. With this link established, researchers started to focus on the role that environmental factors like pesticides could play in the development of Parkinson's disease, but to this day the information regarding this topic is scarce. My current project therefore focuses on the effect of selected pesticides on neuronal cell modely, using state of the art -omics techniques, and advanced data analysis methods.
April 2011 --- June 2015
I currently study the effects of cadmium pollution on Arabidopsis thaliana. I mainly use proteomics techniques, including DiGE. I am currently testing and adapting redox-proteomics to plant material. The future holds the exploration of yet another innovative omics technique, metallomics, to detect metals bound to proteins. In a new project, financed by FWO post-doc grant, DiGE, redox-proteomics and metallomics will be used to study the effects of Cd, not only on wild type Arabidopsis, but also on 3 mutants deficient in ascorbate, glutathione, and a combination of both. The combination of the three very complementary "-omics" techniques will lead to new findings concerning the effects that Cd has on cellular redox state, either by oxidative stress or by direct binding to proteins, as well as the role of anti-oxidant molecules during this response. Imaging and molecular biology approaches are used to confirm the proteomics results. A further research project (CADWALL), financed by the FWO (Belgium) and co-financed by the FNR (Luxembourg) has recently been granted. The project is carried out at Hasselt University in collaboration with the Centre de Recherche Public - Gabriel Lippmann (Luxembourg). The focus of the study lies on the plant cell wall, which is the source of plant fibre. Novel proteomics techniques focusing on cell wall proteins are used in conjunction with molecular biology, biochemistry and imaging techniques to shed light on the effects of trace elements on cell wall composition and functioning. The most innovative technique used in this project is the the use of Nano-SIMS (CRPGL) to determine the location and distribution of elements in plant tissue. The project will uncover important information that can in the future be used in the sustainable use of plant fibres.
October 2006 --- September 2010
During my PhD I studied the effects of tropospheric ozone pollution on poplar. I mainly used proteomics techniques including DiGE. Although the primary interest was at the solubl eproteins, I also isolated chloroplasts to observe the effects on chloroplast membrane proteins. Physiological measurements of chlorophyll fluorescence and gas exchange complemented the systems biology approach.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Plant Sciences from Université Henri Poincaré (Nancy I) in 2010
Masters in Cell Biology and Physiology from Université Henri Poincaré (Nancy I) in 2006
Bachelor equivalent in Biology from Université de Luxembourg in 2002
Training and Certification
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