Laboratory for Intravital Microscopy and Dynamics of Tumour Progression

Our group studies the dynamics of tumor progression at multiple scales ranging from the molecular level to the organ level. During this process, the affected organ transforms from a highly organized and functional structure into a disorganized and dysfunctional assembly of cells. Our goal is to understand how healthy tissue architecture is involved in this dynamic process of tumorigenic transformation. 

Colinda Scheele

Group Leader
VIB Group Leader since June 2020
PhD: Hubrecht Institute/Netherlands Cancer Institute, Utrecht University, 2020

Research areas

Human diseases Systems biology Cancer Biology

Model organisms

Research focus

We study the dynamics of tumor progression at multiple scales ranging from the molecular level to the organ level. Little is known about the mechanisms and dynamics by which transformed cells eliminate, rearrange or adopt the existing tissue structures. To investigate the dynamics of these complex tissue rearrangements, we develop and use state-of-the-art imaging techniques, such as whole organ 3D imaging, and high-resolution intravital microscopy and combine these techniques with the latest genetic mouse models. To gain visual access to the tissues we use small imaging windows that can be surgically implanted into mice. These windows enable visualization of the behavior of individual tumor cells within the tissue context. Moreover, malignant transformation can be followed at the single cell level in real-time within the primary tumor or at distant organs over a period of several days to weeks. Better understanding of the interplay between healthy tissue structure and transformed cells will give us new insights into how tissue architecture can either prevent or promote tumor initiation and progression. Ultimately, we aim to use these new insights to explore new therapeutic strategies that could prevent or delay tumor progression.

3D whole organ imaging demonstrating the transformation from healthy mammary tissue (top, left) to a pre-malignant stage (top, right), which ultimately transforms into a full blown carcinoma (bottom). Mammary cells are labelled in cyan, red, and yellow, stromal cells and collagen are depicted in white.


To showcase the world-class scientific research of the Colinda Scheele 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 Colinda Scheele 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.