Elien Alderweireldt

elienalderweireldt-pngPhD student

Elien Alderweireldt always had an interest on how diet influences human health and disease. Her research focuses on the link between red and processed meat consumption and the risk of developing colorectal cancer, using different in vitro cell-based models.

 In 2017, she obtained her master degree in Bioscience Engineering: food science and nutrition at Ghent University. She did her master thesis in the lab of the 'nutriFOODchem' research group at Ghent University and the 'LECR' group at UZ Ghent, with Prof. Van Camp and Prof. De Wever as promotors.

In the same year, she received an FWO fellowship for a PhD, which allowed her to continue the work that was initiated by her master thesis.

A variety of models based on human colon (cancer) cells are being developed from a medical and drug-testing point of view.

In her PhD, Elien Alderweireldt tries to use the same models in the context of food research by exposing the cells to food compounds, more specifically meat components and microbial metabolites of red/processed meat (meals). She is using different techniques to assess the cellular output during and after treatment with these compounds, in order to unravel possible mechanisms that could explain the increased risk of developing colorectal cancer when consuming high amounts of red and processed meats.

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Elien Alderweireldt