Xiaolu Ruby Sun

CRIG member
Xiaolu Ruby Sun

Doctoral fellow - Nanobody lab - Department of Biomolecular Medicine, UGent
Principal Investigator: prof. Jan Gettemans (PhD) 


Research focus

The tumor microenvironment of numerous prevalent cancer types is abundantly infiltrated with tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). TAMs are versatile cells, which, depending on their microenvironment and localization within the tumor, can adopt different phenotypes. The M1 phenotype activates anti-tumor immunity, and the M2 phenotype promotes angiogenesis and cancer progression. In most cancers, M2-TAMs with a high expression of the macrophage mannose receptor (MMR, CD206) were shown to exhibit a strong immune suppressive activity, identifying them as interesting targets for cancer therapy. However, there is no specific conclusion about the equilibrium and reprogramming mechanism between M1/M2 TAMs.
My research focuses on perturbing tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) equilibrium using nanobodies and nanoparticles in breast cancer. The nanobodies will be generated and characterized to reveal specific pathways that TAMs are re-educated by, to develop novel strategies combined with nanoparticles for redirecting TAMs to tumoricidal effectors, and dissect tumor/macrophage molecular interactions.

Key publications

  • ’Precision Therapy of Recurrent Breast Cancer through Targeting Different Malignant Tumor Cells with a HER2/CD44‐Targeted Hydrogel Nanobot’. Small, 2023. (PMID: 37154208)

Contact & links

  • Lab address: Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 75, 9052 Gent, Belgium
  • Nanobody lab 
  • LinkedIn 
  • Xiaolu Sun is interested to receive invitations for talks or presentations