Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire en Biologie Humaine et Moléculaire

Simulation of biological systems, bioinformatics, biostatistics.

[ V.De Maertelaer , V. Detours, S.Swillens ]

The quantitative interpretation of biological data requires the use of computer assisted approaches.
A first approach consists of the statistical analysis of data in order to support relevance and significance of biological observations.

A second approach deals with the elaboration and the computer simulation of models in order to test the validity of intuitively proposed schemas of regulation pathways. Theoretical studies have been especially conducted in the field of second messenger-controlled cascades (cyclic AMP, InsP3 , Ca2+) and receptor activation (TSH receptor, InsP3-receptor-Ca2+-channel). In a third approach, we apply the tools of bioinformatics to gene expression data arising in cancer research, and in particular thyroid cancers. We are currently focusing on two topics: the relation between ionizing radiations and cancer initiation, and the diagnosis of thyroid malignancy. The first topic rest on the comparison of expression profiles of thyroid cancers collected from Ukrainian patients irradiated after the Chernobyl accident and from patients with no history of exposure to radiation. This work aims at finding a radiation fingerprint, and perhaps a radiation susceptibility signature distinguishing these cancers. Thyroid tumors affects as much as 40% of the population after 40, yet while 5% of these are cancers, diagnostic is inconclusive in 20% of the cases, resulting in many unnecessary thyroidectomies. Genome-wide expression profiling could help solve this problem and help understand better the morphology of thyroid tumors.


Our biostatistical activities pertain to both experimental and clinical statistics. In the biomedical field biostatistical methods are used to make exploratory, descriptive and inferential analyses. As concerns more specifically the clinical field, we collaborate with physicians on clinical research projects aimed at improving the diagnosis and the prognosis of diseases in any medical or surgical field. Our expertise in clinical trials is widely recognized; we are consultant for the FAMHP (Federal Agency for Medicine and Health Products) and for the EMEA (Europe Medicines Agency).


Main recent publications

d'Alcantara,P., S.N.Schiffmann, and S.Swillens.

Bidirectional synaptic plasticity as a consequence of interdependent Ca2+-controlled phosphorylation and dephosphorylation pathways.
European Journal of Neuroscience. 17:2521-2528 (2003).

Dupont,G., O.Koukoui, C.Clair, C.Erneux, S.Swillens, and L.Combettes.

Ca2+ oscillations in hepatocytes do not require the modulation of InSP3 3-kinase activity by Ca2+ Febs Letters. 534:101-105 (2003).

Van Sande,J., M.J.Costa, C.Massart, S.Swillens, S.Costagliola, J.Orgiazzi, and J.E.Dumont.

Kinetics of thyrotropin-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid-stimulating antibody binding and action on the TSH receptor in intact TSH receptor-expressing CHO cells." Journal of Clinical
Endocrinology and Metabolism. 88:5366-5374 (2003).

Van Sande,J., M.J.Costa, C.Massart, S.Swillens, S.Costagliola, J.Orgiazzi, and J.E.Dumont.

Kinetics of thyrotropin-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroid-stimulating antibody binding and action on the TSH receptor in intact TSH receptor-expressing CHO cells.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 88:5366-5374 (2003).

Swillens,S., Goffard,J.C., Marechal,Y., De Kerchove,d.A., El Housni,H.

Instant evaluation of the absolute initial number of cDNA copies from a single real-time PCR curve.
Nucleic Acids Res. 32 : e5,( 2004).

Urizar,E., Montanelli,L., Loy,T., Bonomi,M., Swillens,S., Gales,C., Bouvier,M., Smits,G., Vassart,G., Costagliola,S.

Glycoprotein hormone receptors: link between receptor homodimerization and negative cooperativity.
EMBO J. 24 : 1954-1964 ( 2005).

Dessars,B., Heimann,P., Swillens,S., El Housni,H.

Limitations and practical procedure in BclII-Ig heavy chain gene rearrangement real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction.
J. Mol. Diagn. 8 :133-136,( 2006).


Tack,D., J.Widelec, V.De Maertelaer, J.M.Bailly, C.Delcour, and P.A.Gevenois.

Comparison between low-dose and standard-dose multidetector CT in patients with suspected chronic sinusitis.
American Journal of Roentgenology. 181:939-944 (2003).

Tack,D., V.De Maertelaer, and P.A.Gevenois.

Dose reduction in multidetector CT using attenuation-based online tube current modulation.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 181:331-334 (2003).

Tack,D., S.Sourtzis, I.Delpierre, V.De Maertelaer, and P.A.Gevenois.

Low-dose unenhanced multidetector CT of patients with suspected renal colic.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 180:305-311 (2003).

Daelemans C, Smits G, de Maertelaer V, Costagliola S, Englert Y, Vassart G, Delbaere A.

Prediction of severity of symptoms in iatrogenic ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
by follicle-stimulating hormone receptor Ser680Asn polymorphism.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab.   89(12):6310-5 (2004).

Bankier AA, O'Donnell CR, Mai VM, Storey P, De Maertelaer V, Edelman RR, Chen Q.

Impact of lung volume on MR signal intensity changes of the lung parenchyma.
J Magn Reson Imaging. 20(6):961-6 (2004).

Arvanitakis M, Van Laethem JL, Parma J, De Maertelaer V, Delhaye M, Deviere J.

Predictive factors for pancreatic cancer in patients with chronic pancreatitis in association
with K-ras gene mutation.
Endoscopy.36(6):535-42 (2004).

Keyzer C, Tack D, de Maertelaer V, Bohy P, Gevenois PA, Van Gansbeke D.

Acute appendicitis: comparison of low-dose and standard-dose unenhanced multi-detector row CT.
Radiology. 232(1):164-72 (2004).

Tack D, Bohy P, Perlot I, De Maertelaer V, Alkeilani O, Sourtzis S, Gevenois PA.

Suspected acute colon diverticulitis: imaging with low-dose unenhanced multi-detector row CT.
Radiology. 237(1):189-96 (2005).

Tack D, De Maertelaer V, Petit W, Scillia P, Muller P, Suess C, Gevenois PA.

Multi-detector row CT pulmonary angiography: comparison of standard-dose and simulated
low-dose techniques.
Radiology. 236(1):318-25 (2005).

Hainaux B, Agneessens E, Bertinotti R, De Maertelaer V, Rubesova E, Capelluto E,
Moschopoulos C.

Accuracy of MDCT in predicting site of gastrointestinal tract perforation.
AJR Am J Roentgenol. 187(5):1179-83 (2006).

Madani A, Zanen J, de Maertelaer V, Gevenois PA.

Pulmonary emphysema: objective quantification at multi-detector row CT
comparison with macroscopic and microscopic morphometry.
Radiology. 238(3):1036-43 (2006).


Detours, V., Dumont, J. E., Bersini, H., & Maenhaut, C.

Integration and Cross-Validation of High-Throughput Gene Expression Data: Comparing Heterogenous Data Sets ,
FEBS Lett. 546 : 98-102, (2003).

Wattel, S., Mircescu, H., Venet, D., Burniat, A., Franc, B., Frank, S., Andry, G., Van Sande, J., Rocmans, P., Dumont, J. E., Detours, V. & Maenhaut, C

Gene Expression in Thyroid Autonomous Adenomas Provides Insight on their  Physiopathology
Oncogene 24 : 6902-16, (2005).

Detours, V., Wattel, S., Venet, D., Hutsebaut, N., Bogdanova, T., Tronko, M. D., Dumont, J. E., Franc, B., Thomas, G. & Maenhaut, C.

Absence of a Specific Radiation Signature in Post-Chernobyl Thyroid Cancers , British J. Cancer
92 : 1545-1552, (2005).

Van Staveren, C. G., Detours, V., Dumont, J. E., & Maenhaut, C,

Negative feedbacks in normal cell growth and their suppression in tumorigenesis .
Cell Cycle 5 : 571-572, (2006).

Van Staveren, C. G., Weiss, D., Delys, L., Venet, D., Cappello, M., Andry, G., Dumont, J. E., Libert, F., Detours, V., & Maenhaut, C.

Gene Expression in TSH-treated Human Thyrocytes and Autonomous Adenomas: Suppression of Negative Feedbacks in Tumorigenesis
Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA 103 : 413–418, (2006).

Detours, V., Dumont, J. E., & Maenhaut, C.

Systems Biology, Cell Specificity and Physiology
Theories in Medicine, Paton R. & McNamara L. Eds. Elsevie, (2006).

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