Laboratory of Growth Control and Cancer Research

Our central topic is "organ growth control", in particular the signaling mechanisms that control when organs need to grow and when they need to stop growing. Defects in growth control underlie cancer development and impaired tissue regeneration. Our goal is to identify the master signals that direct organ growth and then to leverage that knowledge to develop new means to kill cancer cells and to promote regeneration of damaged organs, including damage caused by cancer.

Georg Halder

Group Leader
VIB group leader since 2012
Professor, Department of Oncology, KU Leuven
Associate Professor: University of Texas, Anderson Cancer Research Centre 2006-2012
Assistant Professor: University of Texas, Anderson Cancer Research Centre 2000-2006
Postdoc: University of Wisconsin Madison 1996-2000
PhD: University Basel, Switzerland, 1996

Research areas

Human diseases Cancer Biology Systems biology

Model organisms

Research focus

Our group studies organ growth control during development and regeneration, and how cancer cells highjack these mechanisms for tumor growth. In 2003, we discovered the Hippo pathway through genetic screens in Drosophila. Mutations in Hippo signaling components cause dramatic organ overgrowth, demonstrating that the Hippo pathway is essential for organs to stop growing when they reach their correct size. 

We use mouse models for liver cancer and liver disease and apply sophisticated genetic methods to study gene functions in tumor cells and surrounding hepatocytes. We put special emphasis on the interaction between tumor cells and normal cells to discover how we could command normal cells to attack tumor cells and repair liver damage.


To showcase the world-class scientific research of the Georg Halder Lab, you can discover their scientific papers in more detail.


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


The Georg Halder Lab 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.