Doctoral fellow, Laboratory for Experimental Cancer Research - UGent, faculty of medicine and health sciences
Early-stage researcher, Training in Extracellular Vesicles: For benefit in Health and Disease - Marie Sklodowska Curie Innovative Training Network (MSCA-ITN)
Principal investigators: prof. Olivier De Wever (PhD) & prof. An Hendrix (PhD)
Extracellular vesicles (EV) are nanosized membrane-enclosed vesicles released by most eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells that have recently emerged as essential cell-cell communication mediators with important diagnostic and therapeutic potential. Despite a rapidly growing literature, EV research is impaired by the diversity of methods available that separate EV from their source biofluid with variable yield and purity. The characterization of EV preparations must be performed adequately for an unbiased attribution of molecular composition and functions to EV. Transparent reporting of separation and characterization methods is also essential for the interpretation and the reproducibility of EV experiments.
Our lab released in 2017 the community driven knowledgebase EV-TRACK (Van Deun et al., Nat Methods, 2017) that coaches researchers in transparently reporting technical parameters in EV-related publications and has been included in the 2018 update of the MISEV guidelines (Minimal Information for Studies of Extracellular Vesicles) (Théry et al., JEV, 2018).
The aim of my doctoral research is to
- identify the impact of EV separation methods on downstream immune assays
- establish EV-TRACK version 2.0. My work explores the contribution of contaminants in EV functional assays promoting unbiased knowledge discovery essential to develop EV towards clinical applications (De Wever & Hendrix, EMBO J 2019)
- “Pharmacological targeting of apelin impairs glioblastoma growth.” Harford-Wright et aL., Brain 2017. PMID: 29053791
- “Feasibility of Mechanical Extrusion to Coat Nanoparticles with Extracellular Vesicle Membranes” Van Deun et al. Cells 2020 PMID: 32751082