Heleen Dewitte

Heleen Dewitte


Laboratory for General Biochemistry and Physical Pharmacy
Ghent University
Ottergemsesteenweg 460
9000 Gent
Tel: 0032 9 2648047 (secretary)
Tel: 0032 9 264 8360 (direct)

E-mail: Heleen.Dewitte@UGent.be



2010: Master in Drug Development at the department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium
2015: PhD in Pharmaceutical and Medical Sciences (UGent/VUB). Thesis title: Design and Evaluation of Immunotherapeutic Imaging for Cancer Vaccination.

Research interests:

mRNA, Dendritic Cells, Immunology, Immunogenic Cell Death, Microbubbles, Nanoparticles, Ultrasound, Cancer vaccination, Nanovaccines, High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)

Educational tasks:

Lab instructor and tutor for the Pharmaceutical Bachelor Proof since 2011 (Ghent University, Belgium)

Awards & scholarships :

•    2019: 3-year mandate by BOF (bijzonder onderzoeksfonds) as a post-doctoral fellow
•    2019: Short-listed as one of the 25 candidates for the New Scientist “Science Talent” election (https://newscientist.nl/polls/new-scientist-wetenschapstalent- 2019/).
•    2018: Selected for a 5-year membership of the Flemish Young Academy (Jonge Academie) for Sciences and Arts.
•    2017: Belgian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) 2017 National Award for the PhD thesis “Design and evaluation of immunotherapeutic imaging for cancer vaccination”.
•    2016: 2nd place (silver cup) in the first edition of the Vlaamse PhD Cup (vlaamsephdcup.be, science communication competition)
•    2016: Poster award in the “Therapeutic Vaccines” session (14th CIMT Cancer Immunotherapies Annual Meeting, Mainz, Germany)
•    2015: 3-year Post-doctoral Fellowship from FWO Vlaanderen (Research Foundation Flanders)
•    2014: Jan Feijen poster prize (13th European Society of Controlled Drug Delivery symposium, Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands)
•    2014: “Best oral presentation” award, OncoPoint II (Ghent, Belgium)
•    2013: 2013 Knowledge for Growth poster award (Ghent, Belgium)
•    2013: Winner of the “Therapeutic use of microbubbles” competition (18th European Symposium on Ultrasound Contrast Imaging, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
•    2011: 4 year PhD scholarship from IWT Vlaanderen (Instituut voor Wetenschap & Technologie)
•    2011: Prize of the Bank of Breda (Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)

Research project :

My research focuses on the design of nano- and micromaterials that can spark, boost and sustain antitumor immune responses. In particular, the focus is on strategies that allow in vivo cancer vaccination, where a patient’s own immune cells are in situ harnessed in the fight against a growing tumor.