Ilke Aernout

Ilke Aernout







Laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy
Ghent University
Ottergemsesteenweg 460
9000 Gent
Tel: 0032 9 264 80 47 (secretary)
Tel: 0032 9 264 80 49 (direct)
Fax: 0032 9 2648189



Ilke Aernout started her Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Science at Ghent University in 2015. Subsequently she obtained her Master in Drug Development (great distinction) in 2021. She performed her master thesis, titled as ‘The influence of physicochemical properties of liposomes on the in vivo biodistribution in mice, elucidating the impact of inflammatory conditions’ at the Laboratory of General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy (Ghent University).

Research interests:

Galsomes, mRNA vaccines, immunopeptidomics, adaptive immune system, intracellular bacterial infections, tuberculosis.

Summary of Research Project(s)

This project aims to further explore the potential of a Galsome vaccine for intracellular bacterial infections, in particular tuberculosis (TB). With the emergence of multi-drug and extensively-drug resistant strains, the World Health Organisation considers the development and implementation of new TB vaccines to be a top priority as vaccines are increasingly recognized as highly effective tools to mitigate antibiotic resistance. As such we aim to modify our recently developed mRNA Galsome formulation to allow effective mucosal vaccination. From previous research we know that they manage to engage multiple immune effector cells and induce innate (iNKT, NK cells) as well as adaptive immunity (humoral and cellular). Additionally, we want to provide enhanced storability by developing an optimized lyophylisation protocol. Initially Galsome induced immunity will be explored by defining the optimal combination of different well-known TB related antigens. In addition we will make use of a recently implemented immunopeptidomics pipeline for the detection of antigenic peptides presented by bacteria infected cells. Finally, we will perform a prophylactic and therapeutic vaccination study in relevant preclinical models of active and latent TB with the most optimal Galsome formulation.