Postdoc project: "Targeting of tumor subpopulations: protein/gene expression analysis of residual cancer cells and targeting of these cells using nanobodies"
I obtained a Master in Biomedical Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2011. I started my PhD in the lab of Hematology and Immunology (HEIM) under the supervision of Prof. Karin Vanderkerken focusing on the role of the bone marrow microenvironment in multiple myeloma drug resistance. I participated in an EU FP7 project and investigated different cell types that contribute to myeloma disease including myeloid-derived suppressor cells (supervised by Prof. Els Van Valckenborgh), cancer associated fibroblasts (supervised by Prof. Eline Menu and Prof. Angelo Vacca) and mesenchymal stem cells (supervised by Prof. Ivan Van Riet). In 2016, I obtained an FWO grant to continue my work as a post-doctoral researcher at the HEIM department and in 2018 I became assistant professor (10%) at the VUB.
My current project focuses on the use of antigen-specific nanobodies to target residual disease in myeloma and prevent relapse of patients. In collaboration with Prof. Peter Croucher (Garvan Institute, Sydney, Australia), we investigate myeloma cell dormancy in vitro and in vivo. Nationally, I closely collaborate with Profs Nick Devoogdt and Matthias D'Huyvetter for the development and characterization of AXL- and CS1 specific nanobodies to target minimal residual disease in myeloma by targeted radionuclide therapy (TRNT).