The role of the unfolded protein response in immune cell biology

Our research team focuses on the role of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in immune cells.

Sophie Janssens

Group Leader
Group leader VIB as of March 2018
Full Professor: Ghent Univ., Ghent, Belgium since 2011
Postdoc: Univ. of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, 2007-2011
Postdoc: Ghent Univ., Ghent, Belgium, 2005-2007
Postdoc: Univ. Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2003-2005
PhD: Ghent Univ., Ghent, Belgium, 1998-2003

Research areas

Cell Biology Immunology & inflammation

Model organisms

Research Focus

Our research team focuses on the role of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in immune cells.

The UPR is an adaptive response that is typically initiated upon accumulation of improperly folded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). It monitors the health status of the ER through a triad of sensors, IRE1, PERK and ATF6. These proteins reside in the ER membrane and activate both transcriptional and translational machinery to restore homeostasis during ER stress. The importance of this stress response in immunity is underscored by the identification of gene signatures of UPR activation in both human disease and vaccine responses. Moreover, several UPR proteins have adopted new functions in immune cells, acting both as sensors of danger and regulators of immune responses.


To showcase the world-class scientific research of the Sophie Janssens Lab, 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 Sophie Janssens 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.

Awards / Recognitions