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Experiences

Current Experience

  • Post-doctoral Fellow
    Since March 2015

Past Experience

  • PhD student
    October 2010 --- February 2015
    My research project focuses on the use of mRNA-loaded microbubbles for ultrasound-triggered DC transfection. For many years, microbubbles have been safely used as ultrasound contrast agents. More recently, they sparked interest as drug and gene delivery agents, by using ultrasound-induced pore formation upon microbubble implosion to our advantage. This sonoporation-based gene delivery paved the way for many new and exciting microbubble applications and cellular targets. One of these is the current investigation of mRNA-lipoplex loaded microbubbles for transfection of dendritic cells (DCs). The discovery of DCs as key players in triggering immune responses not only provided Ralph Steinman with a Nobel Prize in 2011, it also initiated a novel immunotherapeutic approach: Dendritic Cell Vaccination. DCs form a bridge between the innate and adaptive immunity by continuously sampling antigens, processing them and presenting them to T cells. If an antigen is recognized as non-self (e.g. tumor-derived), antigen-specific T cells will become activated to selectively target and destroy the cancer cells. In DC vaccination, the immune triggering is enforced by loading DCs with tumor associated antigens (TAAs) in such a way that it will lead to an efficient antitumor cytotoxic T cell response. A particularly suitable way of doing this, is to use mRNA sequences encoding TAAs. This way, the DCs themselves can produce the TAAs and are thus capable of presenting multiple antigenic determinants to the patient’s immune cells.

  • Volunteer
    January 2004 --- January 2011

  • Pharmacist summer job
    July 2010 --- August 2010

  • Pharmacist internship
    July 2009 --- April 2010

  • Student Job
    July 2007 --- August 2007

Personality

Self Assessment :
CollaborationCreative thinkingCommunicativeCritical thinkingCuriosityEfficiencyFlexibilityIndependenceOrganizationProactivityProblem solvingResult OrientedSociability

Knowledge

Self Assessment :
Animal models Biochemistry Cell biology Negotiation Scientific writingAllergy and immunologyAnimal HealthBiochemistryBiologyBiopharmaceuticalsBiomedical SciencesBiotechnologyCancerCancer ResearchCell Based AssaysCell biologyCell CultureCellular Product DevelopmentCommunication SkillsConfocal MicroscopyData AnalysisDrug DeliveryELISAElectrophoresisEnglishEthics submission and approval processFlow CytometryGene therapyGraphPad PrismImmunoassaysImmunologyLife SciencesMicrosoft ExcelMicrosoft PowerpointMicrosoft WordMicrosoft OfficeMolecular & Cellular BiologyNanomedicineNanotechnologyNegotiationoncologyPharmaceutical SciencesPresentation SkillsProblem SolvingPublic SpeakingReport WritingScientific CommunicationsScientific WritingTeachingTeam ManagementTeamworkTime ManagementTransfectionVaccines
LinkedIn Assessment :
Drug DeliveryGene therapyConfocal MicroscopyFlow CytometryELISACell CultureTransfectionPiano PlayingCell biologyFluorescence MicroscopyCancerLife SciencesResearchCellmolecular biologyscienceBiochemistry

Skills and Expertise

Self Assessment :
Analyze data Create SOPs Develop protocols Guide students Interpret data Report data Use a confocal microscopy Write papers Write protocolsCell cultureCollaborate with project teamConduct animal studiesConduct literature searchesCreate SOPsDesign scientific experimentsEthics committee applicationEvaluate protocolsFollow up projectsGuide staffGuide studentsInterpret dataManuscript preparationManuscript preparation and reviewOral presentationPresent data at congressProvide trainingSolve problemsStorytellingSupervise PhD studentsTeach university studentsWork cross-functionally

Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Ghent University in 2015
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Medical Sciences from Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2015
  • Master in Drug Development from Universiteit Gent in 2010
  • in Greek - Mathematics from Sint-Lodewijkscollege Brugge in 2005

Training and Certification

  • Negotiation Skills in 2016 Training
  • Personal Effectiveness in 2014 Training
  • Applied Flow Cytometry in 2012 Training
  • Creative Thinking in 2011 Training
  • Laboratory Animal Science (Felasa C) in 2012 Certification

Languages

BrightOwl Assessment:
Self Assessment:
English
Full Proficiency
French
Professional Proficiency
Dutch
Native
Swedish
Elementary Proficiency
German
Elementary Proficiency

Area / Region

Ghent, Belgium

Others

Driving License
  • Yes