Bart Lambrecht

“Exploiting the function of dendritic cells to fight disease”

Bart Lambrecht was born in Belgium in 1968. He obtained a Master in Medicine in 1993 and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences in 1999 at Ghent University, Belgium.

Bart Lambrecht’s research has been in understanding the role of myeloid and plasma cytoid dendritic cells in respiratory immune responses.

The granted project is entitled: “Exploiting the function of dendritic cells to fight disease”. The incidence of immune related pathologies such as asthma, diabetes and MS is steadily increasing in the western world. Crucial in understanding how the immune system deals with pathogens, allergens and self-antigens is the knowledge of dendritic cell biology. Dendritic cells control most aspects of the immune response and can be manipulated to induce protective immune responses to pathogens or tumors or to dampen disease causing immune responses to allergens or self antigens. With allergy as a paradigm, the proposal will exploit the function of these cells to achieve a better understanding of the pathogenesis of allergic sensitization and to achieve a better way to prevent or cure this disease. Firstly, the basic biology of dendritic cells in the mucosal immune system of the lung will be studied. Secondly, the aim is to devise targeted strategies that alter the characteristics of lung dendritic cells so that anti-inflammatory responses can be induced, with an aim of curing asthmatic inflammation. Finally, clinical dendritic cell based therapies will be developed, first in cancer, later with an emphasis on tolerizing immune responses to inhaled allergens or self antigens.

Bart Lambrecht has been nominated by Ghent University as a candidate for the Odysseus Group I programme. The jury appreciates very much the impressive track record of Bart Lambrecht. The proposal will exploit the function of dendritic cells to achieve a better understanding of the pathogenesis of allergic sensitization and to achieve a better way to prevent or cure this desease. It is original, very ambitious and innovative. It brings several exciting new concepts for the pathobiology of allergic asthma. The proposed research will be carried out in Ghent University, well known for clinical research. Bart Lambrecht will act as a leader of the future expertise centre for Clinical Immunology and Allergy.