Laura Wayteck

Contact

Laura Wayteck
Laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy
Ghent University
Harelbekestraat 72
9000 Gent
Belgium
Tel: 0032 9 264 8047 (secretary)
Tel: 0032 9 264 8360(direct)
Fax: 0032 9 264 8189
E-mail: Laura.Wayteck@UGent.be

Biography

2011

Master in Drug Development at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University
(Master thesis entitled: Effect of endocytosis inhibitors on transfection mediated by polyplexes and lipoplexes carrying mRNA)

2012-2013

Completed the courses Laboratory Animal Sciences I & II (by Prof. Katleen Hermans, Ghent University), Applied Flow Cytometry Course (joint organization by UA, UGent and VUB).

Scholarship

Doctoral fellow of the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation through Science and Technology in Flanders, Belgium (IWT-Vlaanderen)

Research interests

Cell-mediated delivery, Cancer immunology, T lymphocytes, Nanoparticle targeting, Adoptive T cell therapy

Summary of Research Project(s)

The research of Laura focuses on the cell-mediated delivery of drug-loaded nanoparticles to the tumor site.



Nanoparticles have been widely investigated for the delivery of anti-cancer drugs to the tumor. The encapsulation of chemotherapeutic drugs in nanoparticles enables maximizing the dose that can be delivered, while reducing the side effects and prolonging circulation times. Unfortunately, one of the key challenges remains targeting of the intravenously transferred nanoparticles to the tumor tissue. Several targeting strategies based on the enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) effect and the incorporation of specific ligands in the nanoparticle composition resulted in limited success.
One possible strategy to overcome these targeting limitations and also the rapid clearance of the nanoparticles from the blood stream is cell-mediated delivery. This targeting strategy is based on the attachment of nanoparticles to cells that have tumoritropic migratory properties such as cytotoxic T lymphocytes. The objective of this project is to create a method for decorating the surface of cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes with drug-loaded nanoparticles, and investigate whether they can be released again via an endogenous or exogenous trigger to transfect tumor cells. Subsequently, a synergistic tumor killing effect is anticipated, consisting of a cytotoxic response of the adoptively transferred T cells and the targeted delivery of anti-cancer drugs.