Main CMIM research topics
Research in the unit of Cellular and Molecular Immunology (CMIM) is centered around a number of mutually interacting themes:
The "Camel Antibody"
group, led by Prof. Dr. Serge Muyldermans
, has acquired international fame for studying the ontogeny and structure-function relationship of the unique heavy chain antibodies of camelidae and also the diagnostic/therapeutic applications (including in inflammatory diseases and cancer) of the therefrom derived recombinant, single-domain antigen-binding fragments, referred to as Nanobodies.
group under supervision of Prof. Dr. ir. Stefan Magez
studies (i) the immunopathology of parasitic infectious diseases (such as trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis and malaria) and
(ii) the development of Nanobody based diagnostic tools for the detection of parasite antigens and the use of Nanobodies for structural biology investigations of host-pathogen interactions.
- The "Myeloid Cell Immunobiology" group led by Prof. Dr. Patrick De Baetselier and Prof. Dr. Ir. Jo Van Ginderachter and with Prof. Dr. Ir. Geert Raes as 10% Research Professor, investigates the diversity of populations of myeloid cells (including macrophages, dendritic cells and monocytes) in organs such as the liver and tumors, and the use of these cell populations and their molecular markers as target for diagnosis and therapeutic interventions during inflammatory diseases and cancer.
The numerous mutual interactions among these three research groups evolved gradually over the last years into one major central interest: "The targeting of inflammation linked to, or provoked by, infectious diseases and cancer". Since the end of 2012, this joint CMIM research programme and combination of scientific expertise and know-how was recognized as a Strategic Research Programme at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
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