The goal of the research activities at the Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Therapy (LMCT) is to develop innovative immunotherapy strategies. The strategies under development include (1) ex vivo and in vivo engineering of dendritic cells for immune activation and (2) engineering of the tumor microenvironment to facilitate antitumor immune responses. Technologies such as mRNA, lentiviral vectors and single domain antibodies (better known as nanobodies) are employed for these purposes. Strategies under development are extensively tested in preclinical in vitro models using cells of human and mouse origin as well as in mouse cancer models. Successful strategies are translated towards clinical applications in phase I/II trials.
The Cancer Immunotherapy group led by Assistant Prof. Dr. Cleo Goyvaerts and Prof. Dr. Karine Breckpot investigates how different components of the immune system can be manipulated to stimulate antitumor immunity with themes such as cancer vaccination, T cell therapy and immune checkpoint blockade. In doing so, technologies such as mRNA, lentiviral vectors, 3D tumor modelling and nanobodies are employed.
The Brain Immunology group led by Prof. Dr. ir. Kiavash Movahedi investigates the molecular and functional heterogeneity of brain macrophages and aims to further unravel their role in disease processes. Moreover, insights are translated into novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.