My journey started in my home country, Belgium, where I have been graduated with a master in biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Brussels. During my master thesis, I have worked on a very fundamental question; how cells feed. I had an eye on how cells get amino acids from their surroundings, how they respond to environmental changes and to starvation. I was using yeast as model for eukaryotes and transporters were at the core of my research topic.
I had followed that experience with an internship in Stanford in the United States at Carnegie Institution for Science under the supervision of Wolf B. Frommer. At that time, his group had just discovered a new family of sugar transporters and had achieved this by using, among others, very elegant tools which are genetically encoded fluorophore based-sensors. The Frommer lab beside being very famous for its major discovery of a new family of sugar transporters was also a pioneer in the engineering of sensors. Applying smart technology to address key biological questions appeared to me the path to success and I had the feeling that gaining expertise from that group on both aspects, i.e. technology and biology would be the best start for my career.