Prof. Dr. Thierry VandenDriessche

Prof. Dr. Thierry VandenDriessche

Professor in medicine

Call +32-477-529653

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Current position

Professor in Medicine

Vrije Universiteit Brussel Logo

Free University of Brussel (VUB)

Professor in Medicine

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Logo

University of Leuven (KUL)

Member Committee of Advanced Therapeutics

European Medicines Agency Logo

European Medicines Agency


1987 - 1992

Free University of Brussel (VUB); maxima cum laude (with felicitation of the jury)

1989 - 1991

M.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
Free University of Brussel (VUB); maxima cum laude

1983 - 1987

M.Sc. in Biology
Free University of Brussel (VUB); maxima cum laude

Scientific rational research program

It is widely anticipated that improved gene therapy approaches will yield new treatments and cures for hereditary, acquired and complex diseases. Convincing evidence continues to emerge from clinical trials that gene therapy is yielding therapeutic effects in patients suffering from a wide range of diseases. It is therefore essential to continue to invest in gene and cell therapy to address some of the outstanding questions and overcome the remaining challenges.

Research vision and objectives

  • (i) Applied translational research:

  • To develop and validate gene and cell therapy for major health- and life-threatening diseases.

  • To understand the molecular, cellular and immune mechanisms that influence the outcome of different gene/cell therapy approaches.

  • To conduct translational gene therapy studies in large animal models in anticipation of moving forward to the clinic and initiate a phase I clinical trial.

  • (ii) Hypothesis-driven fundamental research:

  • To unravel the molecular mechanisms and pathways underlying various (patho)physiologic processes important in human health and disease.

  • (iii) Technology development:

  • To consolidate a broad state of the art technology platform based on the latest viral and non-viral vector systems.

Priority programsPDF iconDownload the detailed research program

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The main focus of our current research program in molecular medicine is to apply this conceptual framework in the context of liver-related pathology. In particular, we primarily focus on hereditary disorders (hemophilia), acquired liver disease (hepatitis), liver inflammation and liver cancer.


1989First Prize National University Competition
1990Recipient "Belgian Work against Cancer" Award
1995Second Prize International Competition of the European Working Group on Gene              Therapy (EWGT)
1999Pharmacia & Upjohn Award for innovative medical research (€25000)
1999Young Investigator Award of the International Society for Thrombosis and Hemostasis              (ISTH)
1999Young Investigator Award of the European Society of Gene Therapy
2002International Johann Lucas Schönlein Award (€5000) for Thrombosis & Hemostasis
2006Sanofi-Aventis Prize for Research in Thrombosis, Hemostasis & Vascular Biology              (€12500)
2007Scientific Prize Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine (R. Secq & A. Houssiau Award)              (€5000)
2007Bayer Schering Hemophilia Special Project Award
2009Excellence in Research Award American Society in Gene & Cell Therapy (PhD              student/I.Petrus)
2009Molecule of the Year Award: prestigious world-wide selection by ISMCBBPR
2011Bayer Schering Hemophilia Special Project Award
2012Prize of the Royal Academy of Belgium – Prof. Marc Verstraete Award ($14,000)
2012Top abstract selection (out of nearly 2000 participants) - American Society in Gene &              Cell Therapy

Department of Gene Therapy & Regenerative Medicine


Prof. Dr. Thierry VandenDriessche
Department Director

Prof. Dr. Marinee Chuah
Department Co-Director

Dr. Janka Matrai (PhD)
Post-doctoral fellow

Dr. Melvin Rincon (MD)
PhD student

Dr. Kshitiz Singh (MD)
PhD student

Mariana Loperfido (MSc)
PhD student

Mario Di Matteo (MSc)
PhD student

Sumitava Dastidar (MSc)
PhD student

Nisha Nair (MSc)
PhD student

Shilpita Sarcar (MSc)
PhD student

Hui Wang
PhD student

Laura Kremer
PhD student

Ermira Samara-Kuko (MSc)
Research assistant

Brenda Amondi
MSc student

Jessica Willems
MSc student

Omid Ghandeharian
MSc student


Universitet Stockholms logo


Clinigene logo

EU Framework Program 6

Persist logo

EU Framework Program 7

IWT logo


FWO logo


Cellectis logo


Janssen pharmaceutica logo

Johnson & Johnson

AFM logo

Association Francaise contre
les Myopathies (AFM)

Stichting tegen Kanker logo

Cancer foundation (Stichting
tegen Kanker)

European Hematology Association logo

European Hematology

Bayer Hemophilia Awards logo


ActoGenix logo


Selected Publications

In chronological order; only some selected papers with Impact Factor > 10 are shown). Scientific output consists of about 100 publications:

Blood (2000)
96 (3) 958-965

A novel cause of mild/moderate hemophilia A: mutations scattered in the factor VIII C1 domain reduce factor VIII binding to von Willebrand factor.

(I.F.: 10; cit.: 32)

Jacquemin, M., Lavend'homme, R., Benhida, A., Vanzieleghem, B., d'Oiron, R., Lavergne, J.M., Brackmann, H.H., Schwaab, R., VandenDriessche, T., Chuah, M.K.L., Hoylaerts, M., Gilles, J.G., Peerlinck, K., Vermylen, J., Saint-Remy, J.M.

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Nat Med (2001)
7 (5) 575-83

Synergism between vascular endothelial growth factor and placental growth factor contributes to angiogenesis and plasma extravasation in pathological conditions.

(I.F.27.9 ; cited: 512)

Carmeliet, P., Moons L., Luttun, A., Vincenti, V., Compernolle, V., De Mol, M., Wu, Y., Bono, F., Devy, L., Beck, H., Scholz, D., Acker, T., DiPalma, T., Dewerchin, M., Noel, A., Stalmans, I., Barra, A., Blacher, S., VandenDriessche, T., Ponten, A., Eriksson, U., Plate, K.H., Foidart, J.M., Schaper, W., Charnock-Jones, D.S., Hicklin, D.J., Herbert, J.M., Collen, D., Persico, M.G.

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Blood (2002)
100 (3) 813-822

Lentiviral vectors containing the HIV-1 central polypurine tract can efficiently transduce non-dividing hepatocytes and antigen-presenting cells in vivo.

(I.F.: 10.1; cit.: 115)

VandenDriessche, T., Thorrez, L., Naldini, L., Follenzi, A., Moons, L., Berneman, Z., Collen, D., and Chuah, M.K.L.

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Blood (2003)
101 (5) 1734-1743

Therapeutic factor VIII levels and negligible toxicity in mouse and dog models of hemophilia A following gene therapy with high-capacity adenoviral vectors.

(I.F.: 10.1; cit.: 74)

Chuah, M.K.L., Schiedner, G., Thorrez, L., Brown, B., Johnston, M., Hertel, S., Lillicrap, D., Collen, D., VandenDriessche, T. §, Kochanek, S.,§corresponding author.

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Nat. Biotech (2003)
21 (8) 885-890

Nanoparticles for the delivery of genes and drug into hepatocytes.

(I.F.: 17.7; cit.: 72)

Yamada, T., Iwasaki, Y., Tada, H., Iwabuki, H., Chuah, M.K.L., VandenDriessche, T., Kondo, A., Ueda, M., Seno, M., Tanizawa, K., and Kuroda, S.

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Blood (2006)
107 (12) 4728-36

Phenotypic correction of von Willebrand disease type 3 blood-derived endothelial cells with lentiviral vectors expressing von Willebrand factor.

(I.F.: 10.4; cit.:10)

De Meyer, S.F., Vanhoorelbeke, K., Chuah, M.K., Pareyn, I., Gillijns, V., Hebbel, R.P., Collen, D., Deckmyn, H., VandenDriessche, T.

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Nat. Genet. (2008)
40 (2) 170-80

Deficiency or inhibition of oxygen sensor Phd1 induces hypoxia tolerance by reprogramming basal metabolism.

(I.F.: 30.3; cit.: 60)

Aragones, J., Schneider, M., Van Geyte, K., Fraisl, P., Dresselaers, T., Mazzone, M., Dirkx, R., Zacchigna, S., Lemieux, H., ,Jeoung, N.H., Lambrechts, D., Bishop, T., Lafuste, P., Diez-Juan, A., Harten, S.K., Van Noten, P., De Bock, K., Willam, C., Tjwa, M., Grosfeld, A., Navet, R., Moons, L., VandenDriessche, T., Deroose, C., Wijeyekoon, B., Nuyts, J., Jordan, B., Silasi-Mansat, R., Lupu, F., Dewerchin, M., Pugh, C., Salmon, P., Mortelmans, L., Gallez, B., Gorus, F., Buyse, J., Sluse, F., Harris, R.A., Gnaiger, E., Hespel, P., Van Hecke, P., Schuit, F., Van Veldhoven, P., Ratcliffe, P., Baes, M., Maxwell, P., Carmeliet, P.

Download Nat. Genet. (2008) PDFpdf icon

Nat. Genet. (2009)
1 (6) 753-61

Molecular Evolution of a Novel Hyperactive Sleeping Beauty Transposase Enables Robust Stable Gene Transfer in Vertebrates.

(IF = 30.3, cit. 13)

Mates, L.*, Chuah, M.*, Belay, E., Jerchow, B., Manoj, N., Acosta-Sanchez, A., Judis, C., Schmitt, A., Matrai, J., Ma, L., Samara-Kuko, E., Gysemans, C., Pryputniewicz, D., Fletcher, B., VandenDriessche, T.**, Ivics, Z., Iszvak, Z.**.

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Plos Biol. (2009 feb)
24 7 (2) e39

Atonal homolog 1 is a tumor suppressor gene.

(IF = 12.7)

Bossuyt, W., Kazanjian, A., de Geest, N., Van Kelst, S., De Hertogh, G., Leenaerts, I., Geboes, K., Boivin, G.P., Luciani, J., Fuks, F., Chuah, M.K.L., VandenDriessche, T., Marynen, P., Cools, J., Shroyer, N., and. Hassan, B.A.

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Blood (2009)
114 (3) 677-85

A Murine Model For Induction of Long-Term Immunologic Tolerance to Factor VIII Does Not Require Persistent Detectable Levels of Plasma Factor VIII and Involves Contributions from Foxp3+ T Regulatory Cells and IL-10.

(IF = 10.4)

Matsui, H., Shibata, S., Brown, B., Labelle, A., Hegadorn, C., Andrews, C., Chuah, M.K.L, VandenDriessche, T., Miao, C.H. , Hough, C., Lillicrap, D.

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Circulation (2009)
120 (16) 1585-97

The absence of thrombospondin-2 causes age-related dilated cardiomyopathy.

(IF = 14.6)

Swinnen, M., Vanhoutte, S., Van Almen, G., Hamdani, N., Schellings, M., D’hooge, J., Van der Velden, J., Weaver, M.S., Sage, E.H., Bornstein, P., Verheyen, F.K., VandenDriessche, T., Chuah, M.K., Westermann, D., Paulus, W.J., Van de Werf, F., Schroen, B., Carmeliet, P., Pinto, Y.M., Heymans, S.

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Blood (2009)
114 (8) 1461-8

Emerging potential of transposons for gene therapy and generation of induced pluripotent stem cells.

(IF = 10.4)

VandenDriessche, T., Ivics, Z., Izsvak, Z., Chuah, M.

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Nat. Rev. Drug Disc. (2010)
9 (3) 195-201

Challenges with Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products and how to meet them: The European Committee for Advanced Therapies (CAT).

(IF = 28.7)

Schneider, C., Salmikangas, P., Jilma, B., Flamion, B., Todorova, L.R., Paphitou, A., Haunerova, I., Thirstrup, S., Maimets, T., Trouvin, J.H., Flory, E., Tsiftsoglou, A., Sarkadi, B., Gudmundsson, K., O'Donovan, M., Migliaccio, G., Ancans, J., Mačiulaitis, R. Robert, J.L., Samuel, A., Ovelgönne, H., Hystad , M., Fal, A.M., Silva Lima, B., Moraru, A.S., Turčáni, P., Zorec, B., Ruiz, S., Åkerblom, L., Narayanan, G., Kent, A., Bignami, F., Dickson, G., Niederwieser, D., Santos, M.A.F., Clausen, M., Gulbinovic, J., Menezes-Ferreira, M., Timón, M., Reischl, I.G., Beuneu, C., Georgiev, R., Vassiliou, M. Pychova, A., Methuen, T., Lucas, S., Kokkas, V., Buzás, Z., MacAleenan, N., Galli, M.C., Linē, A., Berchem, G., Frączek, M., Vilceanu, N., Hrubiško, M., Marinko, P., Cheng , W.S., Crosbie, G.A., Meade, N., Lipucci di Paola, M., VandenDriessche, T., Ljungman, P., D’Apote, L., Oliver-Diaz, O., Büttel, I., Celis, P.

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Blood (2011)
117 (3) 798-807

Codon optimization of human factor VIII cDNAs leads to high-level expression.

(IF = 10.5)

Ward NJ, Buckley SM, Waddington SN, Vandendriessche T, Chuah MK, Nathwani AC, McIntosh J, Tuddenham EG, Kinnon C, Thrasher AJ, McVey JH.

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Hepatology (2011)
53 (5) 1696-707

Hepatocyte-targeted expression by integrase-defective lentiviral vectors induces antigen-specific tolerance in mice with low genotoxic risk.

(IF = 10.8)

Mátrai J, Cantore A, Bartholomae CC, Annoni A, Wang W, Acosta-Sanchez A, Samara-Kuko E, De Waele L, Ma L, Genovese P, Damo M, Arens A, Goudy K, Nichols TC, von Kalle C, L Chuah MK, Roncarolo MG*, Schmidt M*, VandenDriessche T*, Naldini L*. (* joined senior authors).

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