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Cédric Blanpain MD, PhD, is a full professor and WELBIO investigator at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. His lab is studying the role of epithelial stem cells during development, homeostasis and cancer. During his first ERC Starting Grant (CancerStem, 2007-2012), Blanpain and colleagues uncovered new populations of stem cells and progenitor cells in the epidermis, prostate and mammary gland, and identified the cancer cell of origin in these different tissues. Using novel genetic approaches, they demonstrated the existence of cancer stem cells within their natural microenvironment and identified intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms regulating their functions. Now, in his new ERC Consolidator Grant (EXPAND, 2013-2018), he studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating tissue expansion and cell fate decision during growth and repair of epithelial tissues. Cédric Blanpain is a member of several international advisory boards and scientific committees, including a panel member for ERC Starting Grant selection . He received several important national and international awards including the EMBO Young investigator, outstanding young investigator award of the International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), the Liliane Bettencourt award for Life Sciences. He is also an EMBO member