Our lab leverages the power of chemistry, biotechnology and nanotechnology to engineer the immune system at better responding to internal threats such as cancer and external threats such as viral pathogens and lethal drug substances. In this context we aim to intervene at different levels in the process of innate immune activation, antigen presentation and the generation of adaptive immunity to clear or protect the host from a specific threat. On the level of the innate immune system, we design strategies to delivery immune-stimulatory drug molecules such as Toll like receptor agonists and STING agonists to innate immune cell subsets in lymphoid organs. We also develop approaches to mark the surface of cancer cells for recognition and killing by innate immune effector mechanisms. And we investigate how innate immune killing can be leveraged to mount a tumor-specific adaptive immune response. On the level of antigen presentation, we develop strategies to deliver subunit peptide, RNA and protein antigens as well as small molecule haptens, together with immune-stimulatory drug molecules to antigen presenting cells in lymphoid organs. In this context we investigate how to optimally prime and skew the immune system to optimally respond to a specific threat. On the level of the adaptive immune response, we design strategies that harness T cells to attack cancer cells more efficiently by alleviating multiple immune-suppressive hurdles that T cell encounter upon arrival in the tumor microenvironment and/or upon engaging into cancer cell killing.
2023/09: Heleen Lauwers successfully obtained an FWO PhD scholarship.
2023/08: Demi Defreyne successfully obtained a BOF-UGent PhD scholarship.
2023/05: Dr. Yong Chen successfully obtained an FWO Post Doc scholarship.
2022/12: Together with colleagues Bart Lambrecht, Damya Laoui and Nick Devoogdt we obtained an iBOF grant to develop novel immunotherapies.
2022/12: Together with colleagues Damya Laoui t we obtained a grant from the Stichting Tegen Kanker for translational research on cancer vaccination.
2023/09: Justine Aelvoet successfully obtained an FWO PhD scholarship.
2022/05: Dr. Zifu Zhong successfully obtained an FWO Post Doc scholarship.
2021/7/13: eTheRNA Immunotherapies signs license deal with Ghent University over jointly developed ionizable lipids for mRNA delivery
2021/7/9: Dr. Sabah Kasmi successfully obtained a VLAIO postdoctoral scholarship to expand our collaboration with eTheRNA Immunotherapies.
2020/08/25: Dr. Jana De Vrieze successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled `Lipid-polymer conjugates for innate immune activation`.
2020/10/08: Emily De Lombaerde successfully obtained an FWO-Sb PhD scholarship.
2020/08/25: Dr. Sabah Kasmi successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled 'Polymer- and lipid-based nano materials and conjugates for cancer therapy.
2020/07/08: Yong Chen successfully obtained a BOF postdoctoral scholarship from Ghent University
2020/06/25: Yi Huang and Haixia Peng successfully obtained funding from the Chinese Scholarship Council to start their PhD research in our lab
2020/06/18: Simon Van Herck was awarded the ´PhD thesis prize AY 2018-2019´ from the Department of Pharmaceutics at Ghent University
2019/10/24: Bruno gives a lecture at the department of Pharmaceutics of Shandong University, Jinan, China (hosted by Prof. Zhiyue Zhang)
2019/10/24: Bruno gives a lecture at the symposium on “Innovations in Materials and Interface Science”, to be held at Shandong University, Jinan, China
2019/10/24: Bruno gives a lecture at the Shanghai Institute for Materials Medica, Shanghai, China (hosted by Prof. Haijun Yu)
2019/10/1-2: Bruno gives a lecture DCID & Next Generation Vaccines Days, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany
2019/9/26: Bruno gives a lecture at Nanotechnology Crossing Borders, Hasselt, Belgium
2019/9/18: Bruno gives a lecture at WiFo2019 in Aachen, Germany
2019/06/24-26: 4 group members present their work at the 83rd Prague Meeting on Macromolecules - Polymers in Medicine.
2019/03/21: Bruno De Geest is giving a talk the NanoMed2019 symposium in Guangzhou, China.
2019/02/01: Bruno De Geest is appointed as Full Professor at Ghent University.
2018/11/28: Today Bruno De Geest received confirmation on obtaining an ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Commission to continue the lab endeavours on engineering the immune system with synthetic materials.