Nick Van Gastel, Ph.DPostdoctoral Fellow

Nick graduated as a master in bioengineering from the University of Ghent in Belgium in 2007. During his studies he became interested in medicine and research, and followed this interest by performing a PhD in biomedical sciences at the KU Leuven in Belgium, under supervision of Dr. Geert Carmeliet. In his PhD project he focused on the characterization of skeletal progenitor cells from the periosteum for bone tissue engineering applications, as well as their interactions with blood vessels. As part of this research, he established protocols for the isolation and expansion of periosteal cells from mice, and developed new mouse models of bone repair. After defending his PhD thesis in June 2013 he continued as a post-doc in the same lab, investigating the role of nutrient availability in skeletal progenitor cell survival and differentiation.
During his work as a post-doc he began to learn about the role of nutrients and metabolic pathways in the control of cell fate and he found this area to be fascinating and challenging. Nick is particularly interested in the metabolic regulation of stem cells, which he believes hold great promise for regenerative medicine and for the understanding of aging-related disorders and cancer. His passion for stem cell biology compelled him to join Dr. David Scadden’s laboratory in November 2015, where he is currently working on metabolic plasticity in hematopoiesis and leukemogenesis.