TIGr

TIGr is headed by Viggo Van Tendeloo.
www.uantwerpen.be/vigor-vantendeloo

Postdoctoral researcher: Eva Lion.
www.uantwerpen.be/eva-lion

In the Tumor Immunology Group we do fundamental and translational research for the optimization of dendritic cell vaccines and adoptive T cell transfer for the treatment of cancer. Together with the VAXINFECTIO-members we work on vaccination studies and we support CCRG in cancer-research (i.a. writing projects, budget management, regulatory affairs, patient recruitment and vaccinations, immunomonitoring, writing papers).

In 2015-2016 we continued our tumor immunology program on the role and effects of DC generated in the presence of exogenously added IL-15 and into their subsequent crosstalk with T cells and  natural killer cells (Anguille et al, PlosOne 2015).
We also investigated how mRNA electroporation can be exploited to generate ‘designer’ DCs with increased immunostimulatory effects. In this respect, we showed that IFN-α mRNA electroporation of DCs significantly increased the stimulation of tumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T cell as well as anti-tumor NK cell effector functions in vitro through high levels of IFN-α secretion (Willemen et al, Cancer Immunol Immunother 2015).

Transfection of IL-15 and/or IL-15 receptor alpha mRNA into Mo-DC to enable IL-15 transpresentation also seems an interesting approach to boost antitumoral natural killer cell activity (Van den Bergh et al, Oncotarget 2015).
Also, we developed protocols to efficiently isolate, characterize and expand gd-T cells that can interact with other immune cells for increased anti-tumor immunity for adoptive immunotherapy purposes (Van Acker et al, OncoImmunology 2015 & J Hematol Oncol. 2016 ).

Head:
Prof. Dr. Zwi Berneman

Professors:
Prof. Dr. Viggo Van Tendeloo
Prof. Dr. Evelien Smits

Postdoc:
Dr. Eva Lion
Dr. Sébastien Anguille

PhD-students:
Diana Campillo-Davo
George Elias
Heleen Van Acker
Maarten Versteven
Yannick Willemen​

Lab-technician:
Hans De Reu

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