I am leading the Functional Phosphoproteomics group at VIB since 2013. My long-term goal as a researcher is to explain how plants develop and adapt to environmental changes. I am interested in conserved cellular phosphorylation-driven signaling mechanisms orchestrating warm temperature-mediated growth responses in plants. In the future, I will go beyond cataloguing dynamic changes in phosphorylation, and explore the functional role of conserved phosphorylation events and start visualizing signaling networks for which we will validate the connection between kinases/phosphatases and their substrates.
During my PhD at VIB-UGent with Tom Beeckman (2001 – 2006) [including research visits to University of Leeds (UK) and Duke University (USA)], I contributed to our understanding of lateral root organogenesis. From 2006 – 2010, I joined the lab of Gerd Jürgens (Germany) as a postdoctoral research fellow funded by EMBO and Marie Curie Fellowships, focusing on early embryogenesis and auxin signaling. From 2011 – 2015, I established my first research group at the University of Nottingham (UK), funded by a prestigious BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellowship and focusing on small peptide and receptor kinase signaling in plant development. In 2013, I returned to VIB (Belgium) and established my second research group. Since then, I started to explore phosphorylation-mediated signaling during abiotic stress, using an up-to-date workflow to capture protein phosphorylation proteome-wide. In 2014, I became a UGent professor. Finally, I recently developed a completely new research program, focusing on temperature signaling.
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