Francis Impens

Expert Technologist
Associate Professor UGent since 2018
VIB Group Leader since 2016
Postdoc: Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, 2012-2015
Postdoc: Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, 2010-2011
PhD: Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, 2010

Research areas

Immunology & inflammation Microbiology Medical biotechnology

Research Focus

With increasing antibiotic resistance, bacterial infections remain an important threat to human health. To identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention our group investigates host-bacteria interactions by innovative mass spectrometry (MS)-based approaches. Using Listeria monocytogenes as an intracellular bacterial model pathogen, we focus on the analysis of ubiquitin-like protein modifications of the immune system, in particular ISG15. 

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To showcase the world-class scientific research of the VIB Proteomics Core, you can discover their scientific papers in more detail.


We are always on the lookout for highly motivated colleagues to join our team. If you are interested, please contact us.


The VIB Proteomics Core can only thrive thanks to the dedication and commitment of its people, no matter what their function or seniority.


To stay up to date in rapidly developing fields, scientists regularly interact with (international) colleagues. Conferences and other (scientific) events are an excellent way to facilitate such a continent-spanning knowledge exchange.

Francis Impens Lab news

At the interface of proteomics and metabolomics


Despite their differing research disciplines, the VIB Metabolomics Core and the VIB Proteomics Core often cross each other’s paths. Cutting-edge mass spectrometry (MS) takes credit for this: both facilities depend on this rapidly developing technique to measure masses within a sample and, as such, to identify the different molecules it contains.

To gain more insight into how MS furthers scientific discoveries at VIB, we called on three expert technologists, each managing an ‘omics’ core facility: Geert Goeminne (VIB Metabolomics Core, Ghent), Bart Ghesquière (VIB Metabolomics Core, Leuven) and Francis Impens (VIB Proteomics Core, Ghent).


How orbitrap helps VIB researchers expand the frontiers of science


​Since its introduction in 2005, the Orbitrap mass spectrometer has quickly become a star in the research firmament. It has contributed to numerous significant breakthroughs in life sciences, especially in the fields of proteomics (the study of proteins and their functions) and metabolomics (the study of the intermediates and products of metabolism). First developed by the Russian physicist Alexander Makarov, a wide variety of Orbitrap mass spectrometers exist today, each with their own specifications. They all enable the quantification and profiling of small ionized particles using electrical fields. What makes Orbitrap such an important technology, and how does it help VIB researchers? We asked these questions to three researchers in separate VIB labs.