Lipid metabolism, lysosomes, sterile inflammation
Tom Houben, PhD
PO Box 616
6200 MD Maastricht
T: (+31) (0)43 3881851
Tom Houben (1990) was born in Hasselt (Belgium). After finishing high school in 2008, he performed a Bachelor study in the Biomedical Sciences at the University of Hasselt, concluding this study by investigating cadmium toxicity in regard to oxidative stress in Arabidopsis thaliana. Afterwards, he started the master Clinical Molecular Sciences at the transnational University of Limburg in 2011.
During his master, he first investigated molecular pathways involved in muscle wasting in COPD at the department of Respiratory Medicine at Maastricht University. In his final year, he performed his senior internship at the department of Molecular Genetics in the group of prof. Shiri-Sverdlov, directly followed by the start of his PhD programme in the same group.
In January 2018, he received a PhD after defending his dissertation 'Lysosomes ‘in control’: where lipids meet inflammation in metabolic syndrome'. Here, he unraveled new molecular mechanisms at the basis of hepatic inflammation in the context of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Furthermore, the results that were described in this dissertation served as a solid translational platform to further investigate and apply the findings in the clinic.
In October 2017, he won the Kootstra Talent Fellowship for future talented postdocs, becoming a postdoctoral researcher investigating the impact of lipid disturbances in neurodegenerative diseases. As part of this research focus, he also received a fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) to perform research in the lab of Frank Pfrieger, PhD (Centre national de la recherché scientifique, Strasbourg, France) during the spring of 2019. Since November 2018, he is appointed assistant professor.