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- Research interest:Privileged to become head of the Tumor Immunology Group of the Laboratory of Experimental Hematology (UAntwerp; October 2019) and to coordinate the clinical research as senior coordinator at the Center for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine (UZA), I find myself in the center of translational research on emerging cancer immunotherapy approaches. With my teams, I am able to perform fundamental, translational and clinical research in the field of personalized dendritic cell vaccination and adoptive T-cell receptor (TCR)- and Chimeric antigen-receptor (CAR)-engineered effector cell therapies for the treatment of cancer. Coordinating a growing research team, covering fundamental and translational research as well as clinical trials, I am responsible for managing ongoing research and for setting out new research ideas and collaborations, including project applications and valorization strategies, academic writing, clinical trial applications and regulatory affairs. Research focus. Within the translational tumor immunology program the development of personalized cell therapies takes center stage, innovating on strategies engineering (i) highly immunogenic dendritic cell vaccines, (ii) novel TCR- and CAR-transfected effector cells for adoptive cell transfer, (iii) clinical-grade production processes of these advanced therapy medicinal products for human use, and on (iv) the discovery of immune-related therapeutic biomarkers with advanced immune profiling approaches. At the clinical trial level, the academic center is driving the execution and design of new clinical studies evaluating the developed cellular therapies in cancer patients with a high unmet medical need. Expanding the therapeutic armamentarium, the ultimate goal is to implement dendritic cell vaccination and engineered effector cell therapy in conventional multimodality cancer treatment.
- Keywords:IMMUNOTHERAPY, CELL THERAPY, DENDRITIC CELLS, CANCER THERAPY, CANCER VACCINES, CLINICAL TRIAL, Biomedical sciences (incl. biochemistry)
- Disciplines:Cancer therapy , Vaccinology
- Research techniques:- Cell culture- Multiparametric flow cytometry and single-cell sorting- Magnetic cell selection- Electroporation- ELISA- ELISPOT- Closed-system cell culture and electroporation (Prodigy-Elpo)- mRNA production- Cryopreservation (liquid nitrogen, -80°C, -20°C)
- Users of research expertise:Preclinical and translational research- Immunological research- Cellular research- Cellular vaccination research- Non-viral transfection- Services: cell processing and analysesEarly phase academic clinical research- Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP); Somatic cell therapy- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), for ATMP- Good Clinical Practices (GCP), voor ATMP