Cell Death Investigation and Therapy (CDIT) Lab

Within this line of research, the 'Anatomy and Embryology Research Group' focuses on cell death and is devoted to a better understanding of the role of different cell death modalities in cancer and to develop novel experimental cell-based cancer immunotherapies.

CDIT lab is also a part of the Cancer Research Institute Ghent (CRIG) which unites oncology researchers at Ghent University and the University Hospital Ghent.

Research projects

Immunogenic cell death: mechanisms, immune responses and cell-based cancer therapy

The type of cancer cell death determines the antitumour immune response and, therefore, contributes to the efficiency of anti-cancer therapy and long-term survival of patients. In mammals, many forms of regulated cancer cell death can occur, including apoptosis, necroptosis and ferroptosis. Within this research project, the CDIT strives to understand the molecular mechanisms of immunogenicity of cell death in vitro and in tumour mice models and to develop novel experimental cell-based cancer immunotherapy.

 

Cancer spheroids and tumour microenvironment

Cancer spheroids are one of the most widely used 3D models which resemble better the tumour microenvironment. The major focus of this research project is to fully understand the immunomodulatory role of cancer cell death in a three-dimensional context and determine the influence of tumour microenvironment on the immunogenicity of cancer cells.

 

Therapeutic strategies to modulate immunogenicity of cancer cell death

Within this research project, the CDIT strives to develop experimental combination strategies based on photodynamic therapy and nano-and bio-materials to improve immunological responses to cell death for cancer cell-based immunotherapy.

Collaborations

For the research project about immunogenic cell death, we collaborate with:

  • Claus Bachert and Olga Krysko (Upper Airways Research Laboratory, Department of Head and Skin, Ghent University)
  • Joeri Aerts (Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Therapy, VUB)
  • Patrizia Agostinis (Laboratory of Cell Death Research and Therapy, VIB-KU Leuven)
  • Abhishek Garg (Laboratory of Cell Stress and Immunity, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, KU Leuven)
  • Valerian Kagan (Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Pittsburgh University, USA)

 

For the research project about cancer spheroids, we collaborate with:

 

For the research project about therapeutic strategies, we collaborate with:

  • Andre Skirtach (Nano-Biotechnology Lab, Department of Biotechnology, Ghent University)
  • Stefaan De Smet and Ina Lentacker (Laboratory of General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutics, Ghent University)
  • Kevin Braeckmans and Stephan Stremersch (Laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutics, Ghent University)
  • Maria Vedunova (the UNN Institute of Biology and Biomedicine, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)

Funding

Selected publications

 

Questions?

  • Dmitri Krysko, researcher