Laboratory of Experimental Hematology

The Laboratory of Experimental Hematology (LEH), currently headed by Prof. Sébastien ANGUILLE, is a strong multidisciplinary basic and translational research group. We have a strong national and international track record on the development of cellular immunotherapies and gene engineering in the context of cancer and autoimmune diseases as well as stem cell research.

UZA & University of Antwerp - Pioneers in immunotherapy

UZA & University of Antwerp - Join our fight against cancer

Our research topics include:

  • Brain organoids (Prof. Peter PONSAERTS)
  • Immunostimulatory dendritic cells (Prof. Eva LION)
  • Immunomodulatory dendritic cells (Prof. Nathalie COOLS)
  • T-cell receptor (TCR) engineering of immune effector cells (Prof. Eva LION)
  • Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) engineering of immune effector cells (Prof. Sébastien ANGUILLE and Prof. Eva LION)
  • CRISPR gene editing of immune effector cells (Prof. Eva LION)
  • T-cell receptor (TCR) engineering of regulatory T cells (Prof. Nathalie COOLS)
  • Designer regulatory T cells (Prof. Nathalie COOLS)

The LEH also holds a patent on the in-house development of mRNA gene transfer technology (PCT/EP02/006897), granting non-exclusive licenses to ARGOS (USA) and CIMAAS (The Netherlands). At LEH, we also provide expert advice, assistance and GLP immunomonitoring and flow cytometry services thanks to our FACSUA flow cytometry core facility.

In 2005, Prof. Viggo VAN TENDELOO and Prof. Zwi BERNEMAN established the Centre for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine (CCRG) to conduct clinical cellular immunotherapy trials (phase I-II) in the field of cancer (leukemia, glioblastoma, mesothelioma) (Van Tendeloo et al, PNAS 2010; Anguille et al, Blood 2017) and infectious diseases (Van Gulck et al, AIDS 2012). In 2015, CCRG at the Antwerp University Hospital  became the first academic organization in Belgium to obtain a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification from the Belgian Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AFMPS/FAGG/FAMPS), as well as a production license for dendritic cells.

We are thus not only equipped to perform basic, clinical and translational research, but we have also mastered the regulatory expertise to be able to perform clinical studies with cultured cell products, which are considered as advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP) – and thus as medicinal drugs –  by European and Belgian legislation.