Short Curriculum of Research

Prof Martine Cools


Ghent University and Ghent University Hospital
Pediatric Endocrinology
Contact: Martine.Cools(at)

Research Activities

The research activities of our group focus on genetic causes of DSD, gonadal differentiation patterns, risk for germ cell cancer and on long-term psychosexual outcome. We are interested in receiving gonadectomy material and DNA samples of DSD cases for research purposes (including whole exome sequencing)

Education/ Training

2006Clinical Fellowship Pediatric Endocrinology, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Supervision: Sten Drop
2004-2005Research Fellowship, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Supervision: Leendert Looijenga
1998-2003Pediatrics, Antwerp, Belgium

Research Experience/ Academic Appointments

Since 2011Head of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology and Diabetology, University Hospital Ghent, Belgium
Since 2010Associate Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Ghent, Belgium
Since 2008Coordinator of the Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) subgroup of the Belgian Society for Pediatric Endocrinology
Since 2007Senior staff member at the Service of Pediatric and Adolescent Endocrinology and Diabetology, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital Ghent, Belgium
Since 2007Coordinator of the multidisciplinary team for patients with Disorders of Sex Development at the University Hospital Ghent
Since 2007Member of the multidisciplinary team for children and adolescents with Gender Identity Disorder
PhD Thesis 2006Germ cell tumors in patients with disorders of sex development: Risk factors, initial developmental stages and targets for early diagnosis. Martine Cools. PhD Thesis, 2006. ISBN: 905677106X.

Important Scientific Prizes/ Functions

2010ESPE Young Investigator Award
Since 2007Senior Clinical Investigator at the University of Ghent, Belgium, granted by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)


5 main publications with relevance to DSDnet (last 5 years)

  • Integrated clinical, hormonal and genetic screening in a consecutive series of 32 undervirilized 46,XY neonates and infants. D Baetens, V Mladenov, B Delle Chiaie, B Menten, A Desloovere, V Iotova, B Callewaert, E Van Laecke, P Hoebeke, E De Baere  and M Cools. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 2014. E-pub ahead of print.
  • Novel insights in gonadal development as risk factor for germ cell cancer: Towards a clinical decision model. YG van der Zwan, K Biermann, KP Wolffenbuttel, M Cools and LHJ Looijenga. 2014 Eur Urol. 2014 Sep 17. pii: S0302-2838(14)00651-4. doi: 10.1016.
  • An update on surgical and non-surgical treatments for vaginal hypoplasia. N Callens, G De Cuypere, P De Sutter, S Monstrey, S Weyers, P Hoebeke and M Cools. Human Reproduction Update 2014, 2014 Sep-Oct;20(5):775-801. Doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmu024.
  • Vaginal dilation treatment in women with vaginal hypoplasia: A prospective long term intervention study. N Callens, S Weyers, S Monstrey, S Stockman, B Van Hoorde, E Van Hoecke, G De Cuypere, P Hoebeke and M Cools. Am J Obstet & Gynecol, accepted.
  • Gonadal pathology and tumor risk in relation to clinical characteristics in patients with 45,X/46,XY mosaicism. M Cools, J Pleskacova, H Stoop, P Hoebeke, E Van Laecke, SLS Drop, J Lebl, JW Oosterhuis, LHJ Looijenga, KP Wolffenbuttel, on behalf of the Mosaicism Collaborative Group. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2011; Jul 96(7): E1171-E1180.