Michaël Herfs

Background

Michaël Herfs was born in Vervier in 1984.  He studied biomedical sciences at ULg and it was while he was there he fell in love with research, infected with the enthusiasm of the then president of the department, Professor Guy Dandrifosse.

Professor Jacques Boniver noticed this zealous student and suggested he do his end of study workwith him, channelling his passion towards anatomic pathology out of all the disciplines available to SBIM students: “What’s fantastic in anatomic pathology is that it allows us to “see” what we’re looking for. In cellular or molecular biology, you do everything blind. You extract RNA, DNA, proteins, but without being able to check them with your own eyes; you have to trust your equipment. In anatomic pathology, the starting point is the microscope and the tissues you slide under the lens. Things happen under my microscope and it’s up to me to discover why!” After his end of study work, Michaël Herfs obtained a 4-year FNRS research fellow’s grant and immediately started on a doctorate, still in Jacques Boniver’s department, under the direction of Philippe Delvenne,  who became head of department in 2010. The thesis concerned one of Delvenne’s teams’ pet subjects: immunity in HPV-induced cancers (cervical cancer).    

Now an FNRS postdoctoral researcher, Michaël Herfs flew off to Boston at the beginning of 2011, to join the anatomic pathology laboratory of Professor Christopher Crum, a world specialist in cervical cancer, for a two-year postdoc. The laboratory is located within the prestigious Brigham & Women’s Hospital, which follows in the wake of the Harvard medical school along with the famous Mass General and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.   In the United States, his head of department, Christopher Crum, became his mentor. He speaks with admiration about his scientific dynamism and human qualities but also... their shared passion for fly fishing, which they would enjoy together at the weekend and during the holidays.

Since his return to GIGA two years ago, Michaël Herfs has been continuing his research on human papillomaviruses and the mechanisms that allow them to escape the immune system in the context of cancers that develop in the genital, anal and upper aerodigestive mucosa.

Publications

Consult the list of publications on ORBI

Contact

m.herfs@ulg.ac.be

See article(s) and video(s)

Treating cervical cancer with cryotherapy
The origins of cervical cancer