Grégory Fettweis awarded by the King Baudouin Foundation



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The project

The three-dimensional organization of DNA has been shown to be a defining feature of cellular identity. However, in certain cancers, changes in this architecture are involved in tumorigenic processes. This is the case of Ewing's sarcoma, a pediatric bone and soft tissue cancer caused by a chromosomal translocation leading to the fusion of two genes. The product of this gene fusion generates an oncogenic "super" transcription factor, fundamentally reprogramming gene expression in Ewing's sarcoma cells. In his project entitled " Targeting 3D chromatin architecture as a new therapeutic avenue in Ewing Sarcoma ", Grégory proposes to study the molecular mechanisms that establish genome architecture in Ewing Sarcoma.

He will characterize the impact of this DNA reorganization on the gene expression program characteristic of Ewing's Sarcoma, as well as on its development. Finally, he will conduct a screen to identify small molecules capable of inhibiting this genome restructuration.

Globally, Grégory aims to explore the role of 3D genome structure in pediatric tumorigenic and metastatic processes, and to establish its therapeutic potential.

Grégory Fettweis

Grégory Fettweis holds a Master's degree in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology from the Faculty of Science at the University of Liège. He completed his PhD in the Virology and Immunology Laboratory at GIGA. After defending his thesis on the characterization of glioblastoma survival mechanisms after photodynamic therapy, Grégory left Belgium to join the National Cancer Institute at the NIH in Bethesda, USA, where he spent a post-doctoral fellowship studying the regulation of gene expression by steroid receptors. He returned to GIGA in 2022 with a research grant from the Belgian Cancer Foundation to study the role of genome architecture in Ewing's Sarcoma.

The Prize

This prize, awarded by the King Baudouin Foundation's fund in pediatric hemato-oncology and financed by the Simon Bauvin, Robert Brancart, Christian Lispet, Rosa Meynen, and Denise Raes funds, aims to recognize outstanding basic research projects on the mechanisms of pediatric cancers. The goal is to enhance understanding of the biology of pediatric tumors through studies on genetic alterations, signaling pathways, or the tumor microenvironment. Selected projects must include clear prospects for applications in medicine.

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