Wim Van Criekinge

Wim, together with Jan, is founder of Novalis Biotech Incubation. Wim is a professor in computational genomics and bioinformatics at the Ghent University, and has strong track record for practical application of his expertise into innovative biotech business concepts.

Bio

Wim Van Criekinge PhD, is a tenured professor at the University of Gent. He founded and heads the laboratory for computational genomics and bioinformatics (BIOBIX) as well as the core sequencing facility (NXTGNT) with global collaborative reach across applied bioscience and clinical discovery.  Wim’s lab was the first to employ routine whole epigenomics sequencing at scale in pursuit of diagnostic discovery and his lab has published results in nearly 200 peer-reviewed papers.

Wim has successfully applied his knowledge in bioinformatics, (epi)genetics and diagnostics through extensive collaborations as well as in founding innovative start ups that resulted in successful exits (Devgen, Genohm, … ). He currently serves as the CSO of MDxHealth, a public biotech company with focus on uro-oncology. Wim holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Ghent, Belgium, where he also earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in 1998.

Work

2005-PRESENT: CSO, MDXHEALTH INC, IRVINE

Epigenetics is a key layer of biology that will have ramifications far beyond basic science into diagnostics and therapeutics. Epigenetic editing allows for cellular (re)programming and will be instrumental in reverting many different disease phenotypes. Within MDxHealth different molecular methodologies have matured including almost all flavours of sequencing technologies. We collaborate with pioneers in the field, published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and were the first to sequence epigenome-wide on a routine basis. CSO responsibilities include managing high profile academic contacts and projects to support the successful market introduction of both clinical diagnostics (Prostate ConfirmMDx) and companion diagnostics (Brain Predictive MDx).

2002-PRESENT: PROFESSOR COMPUTATIONAL GENOMICS & BIOINFORMATICS, GHENT, BELGIUM

BIOBIX was founded at the faculty of bioengineering in fall 2002 as bioinformatics evolved from a service discipline that merely assisted the lab to a central core asset. This transition requires a multidisciplinary approach where people are trained with a strong formal background in both applied sciences, informatics and math/statistics. The core competences of BIOBIX are data-integration and analysis, particularly in combination with high-throughput applications. Based on these competences, BIOBIX obtained ample expertise in epigenetic research, more specifically DNA-methylation and telomere length profiling, but also histone modification and non-coding RNA analyses. Within BIOBIX there is a general focus on systems biology and comparative genomics reflected in different supported technologies: next-generation sequencing, NMR-based metabonomics, MS-based proteomics, proteogenomics, transcriptomics, phylogenetic footprinting, heterogenous data-integration statistics, ncRNA detection and target prediction, selection of novel targets. These technologies are applied in many different disease areas, but with cancer and (cardiovascular) aging as two most important targets. BIOBIX also extensive IT knowledge in setting up high performance computer environments and is one of the few European labs actively mirroring all available sequence data on dedicated hardware using in-house software.

2008-PRESENT: FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN, NXT-GNT, GHENT, BELGIUM

Next generation sequencing machines and analysis pipelines have applications in many life science areas. NXT-GNT allows to consolidate our front running positions in workflow development while enlarging the scope of applications.•

2002 – 2018: CO-FOUNDER / DIRECTOR / CHAIRMAN OF GENOHM SA

Originally founded in Ghent (Belgium) in 2002 as a small two-person bio-informatics shop, Genohm re-established itself in 2011 as an EPFL Start-Up at the Innovation Park in Lausanne (Switzerland). With the successful launch of its main laboratory software automation suite, SLIMS, Genohm officially entered the lab informatics market, proudly serving a rapidly growing set of customers in widely varying research and clinical environments throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the US. Today, Genohm has offices in Lausanne, Ghent, and Durham NC and counts a workforce of 40+ highly trained software and life sciences engineers. The company was acquired by Agilent Technologies in 2018.

www.genomeweb.com

1998-2001: FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, DEVGEN NV, GHENT, BELGIUM

Devgen was founded as a spin-off of Ghent University and The Flemish Institute for Biotechnology in 1997 to commercialize intellectual property it licensed on the use of RNAi in nematodes and its use for screening for therapeutics and/or their targets. Its work focused on the nematode C. elegans as a model system, which functions as a model for human diseases, but also as a model for the kind of nematodes that are agricultural pests. The company raised 37 million Euro in its first three years, first from the GIMV and Abingworth investment companies at its launch, then from the IWT, then from another round of private investors including ING, KBC, Life Science Partners, Sofindex, Rendex and Mercator, then from Polytechnos and Capricorn. In September 2012, Syngenta placed a bid for the acquisition of Devgen as part of a wave of large ag companies buying biotech companies. Devgen’s shares were delisted from the NYSE in February 2013 and the acquisition was completed in December 2013.

Education