Prof. François Fuks

François Fuks, is full professor of Epigenetics at the ULB-Université libre de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium).

After a training in molecular biology at the ULB (Faculty of Sciences), François Fuks focused his doctoral research on small viruses (parvoviruses) as tools to fine-tune anti-cancer responses. He performed his PhD at the German Cancer Research Center – DKFZ (Heidelberg, Germany), headed by Prof. Harald. zur Hausen (2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine).

Next, François joined the laboratory of Prof. Tony Kouzarides at the Gurdon Institute (University of Cambridge, UK) headed by Sir John B. Gurdon (2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology) and received post-doctoral training on the emerging field of epigenetics. This experience proved decisive for François’ scientific career, as it inspired his future work on cancer epigenetics and led to 12 peer reviewed high impact publications (e.g. Science, Cell, Nature Genetics). François was awarded post-doctoral fellowships from the Belgian Wiener-Anspach Foundation (FWA), the EU Marie Curie Training, Mobility of Researchers Programme (TMR) and the EMBO programme.

In 2001, following his postdoc, François joined the Laboratory of Molecular Virology headed by Prof. Yvan de Launoit at the Faculty of Medicine of the ULB, as a Research Associate of the Fund for Scientific Research (F.R.S./FNRS). Within this environment, François created his own independent research group, the Laboratory of Cancer Epigenetics, and effectively started the first scientific team in Belgium dedicated to epigenetics. This quickly led to major publications, including a senior author publication in Naturein 2006. His group currently consists of over 20 scientists, and is focused on the study of epigenetic modifications on Chromatin, DNA RNA and RNA and their involvement in cancer. He continues to regularly contribute to major findings in epigenetics, as exemplified by his recent publication as senior author in Science.

In 2014, François Fuks was appointed Honour Research Director of F.R.S./FNRS. He was also appointed Director of the ULB-Cancer Research Center (U-CRC), created in 2015 for strengthening cancer research within the ULB by boosting interactions between fundamental and translational research. Internationally recognized research is conducted within the U-CRC to improve knowledge on cancer and clinical outcomes for the benefit of patients. The U-CRC currently gathers 20 research groups from the Faculties of Medicine and of Science, the Jules Bordet Institute and the Erasmus Hospital in Brussels.

Fuks’ lab hosts the Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) platform dedicated to epigenomics (EPICS, EPIgenomic Creative Solutions). His group has an internationally recognized expertise in epigenomic analyses. Importantly, the key expertise in Infinium Methylation technology, was developed in collaboration with the major NGS Company, Illumina. Several national and international collaborations are ongoing through this technological platform. Thanks to EPICS, a biomarkers signature based on DNA methylation that measures the pre-existing immune response in a patient’s tumor has been developed to discriminate breast cancer responders from non-responders to chemotherapy.

François has been acknowledged for his remarkable contribution to epigenetics with several awards, including the Lambertine Lacroix Foundation Award (2014) and Gaston Ithier Foundation Awards. He was the first recipient of the prestigious EMBO Young Investigator (YIP) Award (2007). He was also the recipient of the Young Investigator awards from the Wouters Foundation (2004) and from the Foundation Against Cancer (2001).

François Fuks is at the forefront in his field of research, which has key biological, clinical as well as societal impacts. He is regularly publishing in top-tier journals and has the deep recognition of the international epigenetic and cancer community. During his career, François has gain impressive scientific achievements, which stands out from his remarkable publications record and his work’s tremendous impact on the scientific community. His work on the emerging field of RNA epigenetic is a truly exciting and undoubtedly is bound to thrive and sparkle in the coming years.

He is author of 79 peer reviewed articles including senior authorship in Science, Nature, EMBO J., Cell Reports, Science Advancesand as well as senior co-authorship in Cell Stem Cell and Nature.

François Fuks has assured many national and international grants for running his laboratory including European grants (FP6: ChILL and FP7, CancerDIP and Transcan).

He is journal reviewer (e.g. Cell, Science, Nature Genetics, EMBO Journal) and regular expert reviewer for EU (e.g. ERC, FP7); the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) (UK); National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), France; Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC); the F.R.S./FNRS, Belgium and other grants.

François has given over 60 invited and keynote presentations at international scientific meetings (e.g. Keystone Symposia, Abcam, Gordon Conference).

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