Jan Tavernier - CYRE

Onderstaande beschrijving is in het Engels:

Dit is een foto van Jan Tavernier

Prof. Jan Tavernier obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1984 on the cloning of interferon and interleukin genes. After an extended stay at Biogen and later at Roche, he returned in 1996 to Ghent University at the VIB Department of Medical Protein Research. He founded the Cytokine Receptor Laboratory that currently hosts over 40 researchers. Based on insights in cytokine receptor activation, he developed the mammalian MAPPIT two-hybrid technology. Detailed information can be found at mappit.

Jan Tavernier published more than 220 refereed manuscripts, 20 of which are being cited over 100 times. He also holds 23 patent applications. His main areas of expertise are cytokine receptor activation and signal transduction, also linking to pathways involved in innate immunity, and the analysis of protein-protein interactions including interactome mapping, pathway walking and molecular description of inter-domain interactions.

Jan Tavernier is Chair of the Department of Biochemistry at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is also Co-Director of the VIB Department of Medical Protein Research. Since 2009, he holds a Methusalem grant of the Flemish Government. He is also a member of Royal Belgian Academy of Sciences and The Arts.

Contact: Jan.Tavernier@UGent.be

Publications: publications

CYRE- Cytokine Receptor Signaling Revisited: Implementing novel concepts for cytokine-based therapies

The cytokine network is an essential component of the intercellular communication that controls many key physiological processes in the human body. Cytokine dysfunction underlies multiple pathologies including autoimmune disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, and runaway overproduction of cytokines can be lethal as is the case for sepsis or flu pandemics. Although the first therapeutic successes with cytokines were obtained with the straight use of selected cytokines such as erythropoietin, most therapies now focus on inhibiting cytokine function. Successes include anti-TNF therapy for arthritis, and promising results were recently also obtained with JAK kinase inhibitors to inhibit cytokine signaling. Yet, many key cytokines including the interferons, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin 1 have important clinical potential, we here mention cancer treatment and vaccine development, but so far have mostly failed in the clinic due to their systemic toxicity. Strategies to selectively overcome these unwanted “side effects” are the main theme underlying this ERC-CYRE project. We believe that this can be achieved through a better understanding of the mechanisms that determine the specificity of cytokine action at the ligand, receptor and signaling levels.