2 Postdoc positions are currently opened and granted (WELBIO) in Pierre Sonveaux’s lab at UClouvain, Brussels, Belgium


Cancers are evolutionary diseases wherein cancer cells continuously strive to fulfill the high bioenergetic demand associated with aggressiveness. Hypoxia as well as limited nutrient availability and waste removal are fundamental characteristics of tumors that set a selection pressure on cancer cells. If cancer cell survival in such environment directly depends on fast metabolic adaptability, an alternative solution is to leave the primary tumor and establish colonies in areas more susceptible to support survival and proliferation. Thus, some populations of cancer cells locally invade surrounding tissues, and advanced tumors often produce metastatic progenitor cells capable of colonizing distant organs. Here, we hypothesize that metabolic plasticity is an early feature acquired by cancer cells that could precede and promote invasion and metastasis. Based on preclinical and clinical data, we will characterize the metabolic control of tissue-specific metastasis in cervix cancer, breast cancer and melanoma, in order to better understand the tropism of metastatic progenitor cells to ultimately counter this process therapeutically.