Karine Breckpot started a career in medical research in 1998 at the “Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)”, following her studies as a Biomedical Scientist (VUB). The focus of her research was on the development of innovative immunotherapy-based strategies to fight cancer. Throughout her IWT-funded PhD (1998-2004) she focused on different technologies, amongst which mRNA and lentiviral vectors to manipulate dendritic cell biology and the signals that lead to T cell activation. She continued these efforts during her FWO-funded post-doc (2005-2014) extending the employed technologies to RNA interference, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and use of nanobodies. Her postdoc was partly performed at the Division of Infection and Immunity at the University College London (2009-2010). Since then, she further adapted these technologies to additionally manipulate the suppressive tumor microenvironment.
Karine Breckpot has been appointed as assistant professor at the VUB in 2010 and was appointed tenure track professor at the VUB in 2014. She is titular of the bachelor course “Immunology” and the master course “Manipulation of the Immune System”, which are both taught in the curriculum Biomedical Sciences. Moreover, she is participating in several university committees. She is chair of the ethical committee for use of laboratory animals and member of the committee for biomedical sciences, the biosafety committee, faculty advisory board and the university medical center research board. Other activities include participation in grant review committees, e.g. FWO-MED3.
From October 2019, Karine Breckpot became head of LMCT, following in the footsteps of Prof. Kris Thielemans.