News: Professor Vanhaesebroeck elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences

Professor Bart Vanhaesebroeck

MSc, PhD, FMedSci
Centre: Cell Signalling
• 1985-1990: PhD fellowship Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (NFWO) • 1993: EMBO Short Term Fellowship • 1990-2000: three consecutive Personal Career Development Awards from the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (NFWO)
Job Title: Centre Lead, Centre for Cell Signalling
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Research Interests

Professor Bart Vanhaesebroeck's main research themes are Cancer Cell Biology, Cell Signalling and Tumour Angiogenesis

My research focuses on  the Phosphoinositiole 3-kinase (PI3K) enzymes family, which are the key regulators of cell signaling pathways that control various cellular processes including proliferation, motility, survival, and apoptosis. PI3K signalling is often deregulated in cancer causing PI3K to be much more active in tumour than in normal cells.  Our aim is to understand the roles of the PI3K and, because of its importance in normal physiology, to explore unique PI3K isoforms that could be new drug targets for cancer and other diseases.  Already, our work has led to the development of PI3K inhibitors by the pharmaceutical industry and potential new drugs have reached Phase 1 clinical trials.

Our research combines basic biological discovery using mouse models, biochemistry and cell biology with efforts to translate our findings into therapeutic applications.


  • June 2007 - now: Professor in Cell Signalling - Centre Lead, Centre for Cell Signalling – Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London.
  • Jan 2006 - May 2007: Associate Member - Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research - Royal Free & University College Medical School Branch – London.
  • Aug 2000 – Sept 2003: Lecturer; Oct 2003 – Sept 2005: Reader; Oct 2005 - May 2007: Professor in Cell Signalling - Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University College London, UK.
  • April 2000 – Dec 2005: Assistant Member Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research - Royal Free & University College Medical School Branch – London.
  • April 1998: Group Leader - Cell Signalling Group - Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Royal Free & University College Medical School Branch, London.
  • Oct 1993 - April 1998: Postdoctoral Fellow - Prof. Michael Waterfield - Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Middlesex Branch, London
  • Sept 1993: EMBO short-term postdoctoral fellowship - Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Italy - Prof. Tullio Pozzan.
  • April 1991 – Aug 1993: Postdoctoral Fellow - Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Ghent University, Belgium - Prof. Walter Fiers.
  • April 1990 - March 1991: Military Service - Laboratory of Toxicology & Laboratory of Immunology, University Hospital Ghent, Belgium - Lt. Col. Dr. Jan Willems & Prof. Geert G. Leroux-Roels.
  • Oct 1985 - March 1990: PhD – 'Mechanisms of cytokine-mediated anti-tumour activity' - Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Ghent, Belgium - Promotor: Prof. Walter Fiers.



Cancer Research UK

“PI 3-Kinase isoforms in Cancer”


Commission of the European Community

Postdoctoral Fellowship: PI3K-C2-SIG (Marie Curie)


Arthritis Research UK

“Phosphoinositide 3-kinase isoforms as potential new therapeutic modalities in MSU crystal-mediated inflammasome activation and gout”


Commission of the European Community

Postdoctoral Fellowship: “PIKbeta/Cancer - Role of the P13Kbeta isoform in signalling and cancer invasion”



Programme Grant: “Signalling and biological roles of the class II and III PI 3-Kinase enzymes”


Commission of the European Community

Postdoctoral Fellowship: “Characterization of signalling and physiologic roles of the class II PI 3 kinases”


Commission of the European Community

Postdoctoral Fellowship: “Roles of class I PI 3-kinase isoforms in signalling and cancer”


Intellikine Inc

“The role of selective inhibitors of P13K alpha in the treatment of cancer”



Industrial Case PhD Studentship: “New Signalling mechanisms of pi 3-kinase”


AstraZeneca UK Limited

Industrial Case PhD Studentship: “New singalling mechanisms of PI 3-Kinase”


Cancer Research UK

Programme Grant: “Class IA PI 3-Kinase isoforms”


Piramed Pharma Ltd

“The Role of PI3K8 in oncology”


Commission of the European Community



Commission of the European Community

Postdoctoral Fellowship: P13K/Oncogenesis


Key Publications

Soler A, Serra H, Pearce W, Angulo A, Guillermet-Guibert J, Friedman LS, Viñals F, Gerhardt H, Casanovas O, Graupera M, Vanhaesebroeck B. Inhibition of the p110α isoform of PI 3-kinase stimulates nonfunctional tumor angiogenesis. J Exp Med. 2013; PMID: 24043760

Foukas LC, Berenjeno IM, Gray A, Khwaja A, Vanhaesebroeck B. Activity of any class IA PI3K isoform can sustain cell proliferation and survival.Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2010; PMID: 20534549

Guillermet-Guibert J, Bjorklof K, Salpekar A, Gonella C, Ramadani F, Bilancio A, Meek S, Smith AJ, Okkenhaug K, Vanhaesebroeck B. The p110beta isoform of phosphoinositide 3-kinase signals downstream of G protein-coupled receptors and is functionally redundant with p110gamma. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008; PMID: 18544649

Graupera M, Guillermet-Guibert J, Foukas LC, Phng LK, Cain RJ, Salpekar A, Pearce W, Meek S, Millan J, Cutillas PR, Smith AJ, Ridley AJ, Ruhrberg C, Gerhardt H, Vanhaesebroeck B. Angiogenesis selectively requires the p110alpha isoform of PI3K to control endothelial cell migration. Nature. 2008; PMID: 18449193.


Further Publications

For additional publications, please click here.

Research Group

Cell Signalling Group

Postdoctoral Research Fellows:

  • Ezra Aksoy
  • Khaled Ali
  • Samira Alliouachene
  • Benoit Bilanges
  • Claire Chaussade
  • Inma Martin-Berenjeno
  • Larissa Moniz
  • Roberto Pineiro
  • Salma Taboubi
  • Maria Whitehead

PhD Students:

  • Michael Walsh
  • Michalina Gruszka

Support Staff

  • Wayne Pearce (Biological Services Support Manager)

External Activities

Review Committees

  • Cancer Research UK, Biological Sciences Grant Committee
  • Association for International Cancer Research, Science Committee
  • Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique Belgique – Committee SVS-2 Life & Health Sciences-2 (Chair)


  • Biochemical Journal, Deputy Chairman

EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation), Member


  • Intellikine, San Diego (Scientific Advisory Board)
  • GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage, UK
  • Activiomics, Academic Co-Founder

Commercial Enterprises:

Membership of professional societies:


We have discovered the p110delta isoform of PI3K, which has become a drug target in immunity, inflammation and cancer:

  • Our earlier work to develop small molecule inhibitors with PIramed, now Roche
  • P110delta inhibitor development at Intellikine/Infinity
  • Ongoing trials with p110delta inhibitors in haematological malignancies