Karo Van Lil

CRIG member
Karo Van Lil

Doctoral fellow – Laboratory for ER Stress and Inflammation – VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research
Principal Investigator: prof. Sophie Janssens (PhD)

Research focus

How tumor antigens are being perceived by dendritic cells (DCs) determines whether the tumor will be tolerated or rejected by our immune system. While we have a deep understanding of how pathogens drive immunogenic maturation in DCs, the pathways driving DC maturation in the tumor microenvironment remain poorly understood. Over the past few years my host lab has gained a lot of insights in the role of cholesterol influx as an upstream trigger for the homeostatic DC maturation program. In addition, by using different types of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs), which are emerging as vehicles for antigen cargo in   vaccination therapies, they noticed they can steer DC maturation pathways in vivo, thereby changing how the encoded antigens are being perceived.

This knowledge will now be applied to the tumor environment where we want to address two key questions: 
1) what drives DC maturation within the tumor, and 
2) how does the type of cell death in the tumor affect the DC maturation program? 
These two questions will translate our previous findings in steady state conditions to the tumor environment and may lay the foundations for a rational design of LNP-based vaccines in tumor therapy.

Contact & links

  • Lab address: VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research, Technologiepark 71, 9052 Zwijnaarde (Ghent), Belgium
  • Janssens lab 
  • Karo Van Lil is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks