Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology

Fundamental research in our laboratory focusses on the elucidation of nutrient sensing for the control of metabolic properties, stress tolerance, cell growth and proliferation with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system. 

Johan Thevelein

Group Leader
VIB Group Leader since January 2017
VIB Scientific Director, Dept. of Molecular Microbiology, 2002-2016
Postdoc: Yale Univ., Connecticut, USA, 1982-1983
PhD: Univ. of Leuven, Belgium, 1981

Research areas


Research focus

Our research is focussed on two major subjects. The first is the elucidation of the molecular basis of nutrient sensing and signaling in yeast. More specifically, it focuses how essential nutrients, like sugars, nitrogen sources, phosphate, sulfate, metal ions, ... are sensed by nutrient transceptors to regulate growth and growth-correlated properties through the cAMP-PKA, eIF2B/eIF2 and related pathways. The second subject is the development of superior industrial yeast strains for various applications, in particular first- and second-generation bioethanol production, beer brewing and the production of bio-based chemicals. For that purpose, we have developed efficient technologies for polygenic analysis of complex traits of industrial importance and for genetic modification by random and targeted approaches of industrial yeast strains. In addition, we are also using yeast as a model and tool for biomedical applications.


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


We are always on the lookout for highly motivated colleagues to join our team.


The Johan Thevelein Lab can only thrive thanks to the dedication and commitment of its people, no matter what their function or seniority. Meet the team members who contributed to our breakthrough science.


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.


Special Visiting Researcher, Science without Borders Program, Brazil

Publication by Peeters et al. with record outreach impact in altmetric (993)