Pieter Gregoir studied Chemistry at Ghent University. In 2009, he received a Master’s degree after finishing a thesis in the field of biomimetic chemistry. Pieter left Ghent and went to do a . at Pembroke College and the University of Oxford. There he joined the Chemical Biology department and studied multivalent binding events on a single molecular level. As a model system, he looked at the interaction between lectins and a chemically modified ion channel. His . was funded by a Marie Curie Scholarship, which allowed him to perform his research in an international network of universities.
To achieve this we studied the gene expression profile (GEP) of purified mast cells (with purities greater than 95-98 percent) of bone marrow samples.
The great difficulty involved in this work was precisely to obtain the biological material, because the mast cells do not spend much time in the bone marrow of healthy individuals or patients with indolent forms. (Mast Cells in bone marrow are usually very rare, typically less than per cent of the bone marrow cells).
Even in aggressive forms it is rare that the percentage exceeds 1-3 percent. For this reason, the selection of patients and obtaining the biological material (RNA purified mast cells) took over six years of work.