Prof. I. Rooman has a main interest and expertise in pancreatic cell biology and pancreatic cancer, in particular tumour development, cell plasticity and regeneration.
Ilse Rooman was educated at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), where she obtained her PhD in 2002, studying cellular plasticity in the pancreatic organ. Within the same research area, she also completed two postdoctoral research projects, one of which at the Institut Municipal d'Investigació Mèdica in Spain. In 2011, she was appointed as a group leader at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia. Most of her basic research was devoted at finding new genes and pathways that are aberrantly expressed in pancreatic tumour development (hypothesis driven approach and unbiased integrative –omics analyses). Prof. Rooman and her team established powerful models to analyse the initiation of pancreatic cancer, and its relation with pancreatitis. The research has a strong translational focus and aims for early detection, biomarker discovery and development of therapeutic and prevention strategies. In 2016 she returned to Belgium and took the position of Program Manager for Pancreatic Cancer at the Anticancer Fund, managing preclinical and clinical research projects. She was granted an Odysseus fellowship from the Fund for Scientific Research (FWO) to build a research team at the VUB.
Apart from the aforementioned Odysseus grant, Prof. Rooman has had prestigious fellowships and funding from the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders, the European Union - Marie Curie Program, the Francqui Foundation, the Cancer Institute New South Wales and the National Health & Medical Research Council Australia. She makes regular contributions to peer review of manuscripts and serves on several grant/fellowship review panels.