Thijs Van de Vyver









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)




Thijs Van de Vyver started a Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Ghent in 2011. He subsequently obtained his Master’s degree in Drug Development in 2016 with greatest distinction. His master thesis, titled ‘Evaluatie geglyceerde vingernagelproteïnen via ATR-FTIR-spectroscopie: niet invasieve merker voor diagnose & controle van diabetes’ (performed at the Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry, Ghent University Hospital), won the ‘Eos-prize 2015’ for best master thesis in the exact scientific research.


In October 2016, Thijs started his Ph.D. studies at the ‘Laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy’. He obtained a grant for a period of 4 years as a Ph.D. fellowship of the Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO).

Educational tasks

Lab instructor for the Pharmaceutical Bachelor Proof since 2016 (Ghent University, Belgium).

Research interests

Nanomedicines, intracellular delivery, endosomal escape, RNA interference, siRNA.


Summary of research project(s)

Although the potential of nucleic acid therapeutics (siRNA, mRNA, etc.) has been clearly demonstrated in the last three decades, the clinical translation remains limited due to the several extracellular (rapid clearance, impermeable cell membrane, etc.) and intracellular (endosomal membrane, etc.) barriers. Small interfering RNA, for example, requires delivery into the cell cytoplasm to carry out its function. This cellular delivery is usually facilitated by formulating these macromolecules into nanoparticles. However, despite decades of research, both the cell membrane and the endosomal membrane remain major barriers to efficient delivery of siRNA (only ~ 1% of the internalized dose reaches the cell cytoplasm for the current state-of-the-art nanomedicines[1]). The research project of Thijs consequently focuses on different strategies to enhance the cellular delivery of small interfering RNA.

[1]   Gilleron, J. et al. Nat Biotechnol 31, 638-646 (2013).