Member info

  • FACULTY:
    VIB-UGent
  • DEPARTMENT:
    Center for Medical Biotechnology (CMB) Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology (UGent)
  • RESEARCH GROUP:
    Unit for Medical Biotechnology
  • FUNCTION:
    CMB Director – Group leader Unit for Medical Biotechnology – Prof. Dr.
  • WORK ADDRESS:
    Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 75, 9052 Gent, Belgium
  • SUMMARY:
    Genomic engineering of CD8 T-lymphocytes is currently extensively exploited in the field of cancer immunotherapy. In this application, the patient’s own immune cells are adapted to render them more potent as a therapy to treat cancer. Despite some great breakthroughs in this field in the last couple of years, improvements are necessary in both efficiency, specificity and safety. Attempts are being made to engineer the immune cells in such a way that the cytotoxic activity towards tumor cells is enhanced. In our project, a CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering method is being developed to induce mutations in a specific pathway in these CD8 T-lymphocytes. The structure and function of the altered T-cells is being investigated in vitro and subsequently in vivo in a cancer model in mice in order to evaluate whether the induced T-cell alterations could possibly render the T-lymphocytes more cytotoxic towards cancer cells.

Nico Callewaert is group leader and director of the VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology and full professor in biochemistry and biotechnology at Ghent University. His research interests focus on the invention of technologies for medicine, proteins and sugars.  

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