dr. Nele De Langhe (MD)

CRIG member
Nele De Langhe

PhD Researcher – Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research (UGent)
Resident Internal Medicine - Department of General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases (UZ Gent)
Principal investigators: prof. An Hendrix (PhD) & prof. Linos Vandekerckhove (MD, PhD)


Research focus

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was first described in the 1980s as a lethal disease. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), first isolated in 1983, was soon identified as the cause of this disease. Years of research have led to the finding of a treatment for HIV, with the majority of people currently treated with antiretroviral therapy (ART) having an undetectable viral load, no symptoms and a near-normal lifespan. However, HIV-positive people still live with a chronic disease that cannot be cured, requiring lifelong treatment, due to viral rebound when treatment is interrupted. 
Extracellular vesicles (EV) are nanometer-sized membrane vesicles released by different cell types, among which eukaryotic cells (eukaryotic or EEV). Bioactive molecules such as different RNA species, DNA and proteins are actively packed into EV allowing for horizontal transfer of the molecules to recipient cells in the body. Therefore, EV play an important role in intercellular communication and cancer metastasis. Evidence is accumulating that EV not only play a role in cancer but also in viral infections. With this doctorate we aim to identify the role of EV throughout different stages of HIV infection - before and after treatment is initiated. 

Contact & links