Torik Ayoubi, PhD
Dr. Ayoubi obtained his PhD in 1991at the Department of Experimental Physiology of the University of Nijmegen (The Netherlands). During that period, he has been pioneering molecular biological technologies in the neuroendocrine field and authored in 1991 one of the first papers in which non-radioactive mRNA in situ hybridization has been applied. After his PhD work, he obtained an EMBO Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Center for Human Genetics of the University of Leuven in Belgium to work on the regulation of the expression of the furin gene family, the long-sought pro-protein-converting enzymes that cleave proteins at pairs of basic amino acids.
During his EMBO fellowship Dr. Ayoubi gathered extensive research experience and scientific knowledge in the area of regulation of gene expression. After his EMBO fellowship, Dr. Ayoubi obtained an IWT fellowship that allowed him to apply the basic science knowledge gathered in Leuven in order to develop a set of CHO-derived cell lines that overproduce furin co-expressed with many different biotechnological relevant proteins. Mammalian cell lines overproducing the pro-protein processing enzyme furin laid the foundation for the development of BeneFIX® (Recombinant) Coagulation Factor IX by biotechnology companies. As a Group Leader at the Department of Human Genetics of the University of Leuven, Dr. Ayoubi's research centered on the regulation of gene expression and he started gathering an extensive knowledge of bioinformatic tools to analyze genome-wide gene expression.
He then joined the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) as a science advisor where he contributed to developing strategies and tools to create an internationally renowned research structure of which the excellence and performance exceeded the sum of its constituting departments. Dr. Ayoubi then joined the Department of Clinical Genomics of the Maastricht University to focus on genome-wide gene analysis. Dr. Ayoubi headed the Transcriptomics Unit of The Genome Center of the Maastricht University. During this period, he developed TCLASS®, a proprietary, very powerful molecular multi-class tumor classifier which makes it possible to help diagnosing cancers of unknown primary origin. With the acquired expertise Dr. Ayoubi returned to the VIB to head the VIB Microarray facility which provided a fee-for-service for a wide range of scientists interested in genome-wide genome studies. Dr. Ayoubi returned to the Dutch Caribbean (where he was born on the island of Curaçao) in 2012 and has been teaching at the Saint James School of Medicine (Bonaire) and the Saba University School of Medicine (Saba). In January 2022, Dr. Ayoubi has joined AUC School of Medicine as Professor of Physiology.