Myeloid Cell Immunology Lab (MCI)

Our mission is to use the heterogeneity of myeloid cells (MCs) as an in vivo sensor to track inflammatory responses and as a target for therapeutic intervention.

Jo Van Ginderachter

Group Leader
Full Professor Immunology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, since October 2019
VIB Group leader since October 2012
Staff Scientist VIB since January 2009
Staff Scientist: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, 2003
PhD Student: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, 1990

Research areas

Immunology & inflammation Cancer Biology

Model organisms

Research Focus

Tissue-associated MCs contain different subpopulations with different ontogenetic origin, including embryonic yolk sac and fetal liver-derived resident macrophages and adult bone marrow-derived recruited MCs (mainly monocytes, monocyte-derived macrophages, neutrophils and dendritic cells). Evidence is mounting that these MC subpopulations perform distinct functions in health and disease. Thus, we focus on studying (epi)genomics, (single cell) transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and functional heterogeneity of different MC subpopulations present in selected homeostatic or inflamed tissues, in particular in tumors (tumor-associated macrophages, myeloid-derived suppressor cells and dendritic cells), the liver (Kupffer cells), and the brain (microglia subsets and barrier-associated macrophages). 

These cutting-edge molecular and genetic technologies allow the discovery of novel functionalities and markers in MC subsets, based on which we fully invest in the development of innovative tools to visualize and modulate these cells’ in vivo differentiation, recruitment and function in inflamed and diseased tissues. These tools include the generation of novel transgenic mouse strains that allow the tracking, modulation and ablation of selected MC populations, providing unprecedented insights in the role of these MCs in homeostasis and in distinct models of tumor growth and liver or brain injury. We also aim to develop original strategies to overcome inflammation-associated immunopathology of infectious and non-infectious diseases. In this regard, we fully exploit the strategic advantage of nanobodies, i.e. camelid-derived single-domain antibody fragments, and their engineering platform as tools for in vivo MC-targeted delivery of imaging agents (radionuclides, gold- or magnetic nanoparticles) and drugs that can remediate the inflammatory disease outcome and be translated readily into the clinic.


To showcase the world-class scientific research of the Jo Van Ginderachter 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 Jo Van Ginderachter 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.