Helena Vanluchene

Helena Vanluchene.jpg


Helena Vanluchene
Laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy
Ghent University
Ottergemsesteenweg 110
9000 Gent
Tel: 0032 9 264 8047 (secretary)
Tel: 0032 9 264 8095 (direct)




Helena Vanluchene graduated at Ghent University in June 2019 as a Master of Science in Drug Development with greatest distinction. She performed her master thesis ‘Self-amplifying mRNA as a tool for the expression of immunostimulatory molecules: IL-12 and anti PD-L1 nanobody’ in the Laboratory for Gene Therapy (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University). In October 2019, she started her PhD project at the Laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy.

Ph.D. fellowship of the Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO)

Research interests
Non-viral gene therapy, nanomedicines, (self-replicating) mRNA, ocular delivery (intravitreal, subretinal injection)

Educational tasks
Assistant Practical Exercises Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy

Summary of Research Project(s)

My research project focuses on the nanoparticle-mediated delivery of mRNA to the retina. Previously, we have shown that mRNA has substantial potential to induce protein expression in the retina. In contrast to the subretinal delivery of these nanoparticles, their intravitreal delivery (less invasive delivery method) is still hampered by two naturally occurring barriers, the vitreous itself and the inner limiting membrane. Therefore, in this research project, various strategies are explored to overcome these barriers and to broaden the applicability of mRNA-based retinal therapies.