dr. Simon Van Herck (PhD)

CRIG member
Simon Van Herck

Postdoctoral researcher - Biopharmaceutical Technology Unit, Department of Pharmaceutics (UGent)
Principal investigator: prof. Bruno G. De Geest (PhD)


Research focus

Despite the successes of checkpoint inhibition, anti-cancer vaccination and other immunotherapies still suffer from low response rates in multiple tumours. Thanks to a growing understanding of the interplay between cancer cells and the immune system we now have a better idea of the suppressive factors causing these low response rates.
The lab of prof. De Geest develops macromolecular delivery tools to alter the pharmacokinetic profile of small molecule immunomodulators in order to have a strong, localized immune activation. Stimulation of the immune response at the draining lymph node could aid in vaccine design and anti-tumour T cell priming. While immunomodulation focused at the tumour site could alter the immunosuppressive environment of the tumour.
Lymph node or tumour targeted delivery is obtained via degradable polymeric nanocarriers carrying immunomodulating payloads designed in our lab.

Key publications

  • Water-Soluble Withaferin A Polymer Prodrugs via a Drug-Functionalized RAFT CTA Approach. European Polymer Journal, 2019. 
  • Lymph-Node-Targeted Immune Activation by Engineered Block Copolymer Amphiphiles−TLR7/8 Agonist Conjugates. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2018. (PMID: 30277761)
  • pH-sensitive hydrazone linked doxorubicin-nanogels via polymeric activated ester scaffolds: synthesis, assembly, in vitro and in vivo evaluation in tumor bearing zebrafish. Chemistry of Materials, 2018.
  • Nano-targeted induction of dual ferroptotic mechanisms eradicates high-risk neuroblastoma. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2018. (PMID: 29939160)
  • Enhanced Permeability and Retention-like Extravasation of Nanoparticles from the Vasculature into Tuberculosis Granulomas in Zebrafish and Mouse Models. ACS Nano, 2018. (PMID: 30081622)
  • Transiently Thermoresponsive Acetal Polymers for Safe and Effective Administration of Amphotericin B as a Vaccine Adjuvant. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 2018. (PMID: 29172458)


Contact & links

  • Lab for Biopharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, third floor, Ottergemsesteenweg 460, 9000 Ghent
  • Lab De Geest
  • Simon Van Herck is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks