CLOSE Pierre

Maître de recherches FNRS & Fonds assoc.

Professeur associé

CLOSE Pierre

Faculté de Médecine
Département de pharmacie
GIGA Stem Cells - Cancer Signaling

ULiège address
Bât. B34 GIGA-R : Chimie médicale
Quartier Hôpital
avenue de l'Hôpital 11
4000 Liège 1
Laboratory of Cancer Signaling, GIGA-Institute +2, CHU LIEGE
ULiège phone number
+32 4 3662923
ULiège phone number
+32 4 3662548
ULiège Fax
+32 4 3664534
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Conseil sectoriel à la recherche et à la valorisation
Sciences de la Santé

University degrees
2002 : Pharmacien (Université de Liège)
2003 : DEA en Sciences Pharmaceutiques (Université de Liège)
2006 : Docteur en Sciences Pharmaceutiques et Biomédicales (Université de Liège)


After a degree in Pharmacy at ULIEGE, I started my PhD in 2002 with Pr Alain Chariot (ULIEGE). My work focused on understanding molecular and cellular functions of Elongator, a six subunits complex (Elp1 to Elp6), which harbors an atypical acetyltransferase activity involved in cancer cells migration as well as in neuronal migration and development1¿3.

In 2006, I was awarded EMBO long-term postdoctoral fellow and I joined the lab of Pr Jesper Svejstrup at London Research Institute - Cancer Research UK, with the ambition to establish connections between gene transcription - mRNA biology and proteome expression. We biochemically purified nascent, chromatin-associated mRNP particles and we identified a novel proteins that act at the interface between mRNP particles and RNAPII, integrating transcript elongation to alternative splicing and proteome expression4.

Since 2013, I established my lab at the GIGA-Institute in Liege. Our work focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying cancer development through changes in proteome expression and mRNA translation via tRNA regulation. We combine classical biochemistry, high throughput sequencing technologies to in vivo models of cancer, and patient-derived materials. We aim to uncover crucial regulation mechanisms supporting cancer cell adaptation and rewiring during disease progression5,6. We recently uncovered the importance of wobble uridine tRNA modification enzymes in tumor initiation5, metastasis6 and drug resistance7. We found that wobble tRNA modification enzymes induce a codon-specific translation reprogramming and promote resistance to targeted therapies in melanoma, suggesting that they may represent new therapeutic targets in cancer8. Our future work is dedicated to the study of tRNA regulation in cancer biology7.

Main references:

  1. Close P. et al, Molecular Cell 2006
  2. Creppe C. et al, Cell 2009
  3. Close P. et al, Journal of Biological Chemistry 2012
  4. Close P. et al, Nature 2012
  5. Ladang A. et al, Journal of Experimental Medicine 2015
  6. Delaunay S. et al, Journal of Experimental Medicine 2016
  7. Rapino F. et al, Trends in Cancer 2017
  8. Rapino F. et al, Nature 2018
  9. Rapino F. et al, Nature Communications 2021

Research field

  • Sciences biomédicales
  • Cancérologie
  • Physiologie pathologique

Duties or mandates

  • Student trainee - lab assistant (1999-2000), Lab of Pr. G. Dandrifosse
  • Student trainee - lab assistant (2001-2002), Lab of Pr. J. Crommen
  • PhD Student (2002-2206), FRS-FNRS, promoter: Dr. A. CHARIOT
  • EMBO Long-Term Post-Doctoral Fellow (2006-2009), Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute, Clare Hall Laboratories, Lab of Dr. J. Svejstrup
  • Post-doctoral fellow F.N.R.S. (2008-2012), GIGA-Institute, Unit of Signal Transduction
  • Chercheur Qualifié FRS-FNRS (depuis 2012)[BR]GIGA-R, Signal Transduction
  • WELBIO investigator (since 2017)

Scientific distinctions

  • EMBO long-term post-doctoral fellowship (2006)
  • Prix Marcel Florkin (2007)
  • Prix Jean Gol (2012)
  • Worldwide Cancer Research award (2016)
  • Quinquennal Prize of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine (2020)

ULiège Course

Advanced concepts in cell Biology, 15h Th, 15h Pr, 15h RP, CLOSE Pierre, DELACROIX Laurence, DUMOULIN Mireille, DURKIN Keith, HANSON Julien

Molecular and cellular basis of disease, 20h Th, 10h Pr, 40h RP, CAERS Jo, CLOSE Pierre, CORNIL Charlotte, DELACROIX Laurence, DUMOULIN Mireille, DURKIN Keith, GOMES DA SILVA Carla, KEMPENEERS Céline, SEUTIN Vincent, WISLET Sabine

New therapeutic approaches to disease, 10h Th, 10h Pr, 40h RP, CAERS Jo, CLOSE Pierre, DUMOULIN Mireille, PARENT Anne-Simone, SEUTIN Vincent

Thematic seminars, 20h SEM, CLOSE Pierre