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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Malaria Immunology; Vaccine Development; Clinical Development, Cancer Research.

Main research areas

My main interest is translational research. By studying how immunity against malaria is acquired, especially against antigens inserted by the parasite into the infected red blood cell membrane, we have been able to identify malaria vaccine candidates. Pivotal for these studies is the identification of which receptors the parasite antigens bind to and how the antibody response is acquired after multiple infections during childhood. VAR2CSA is the parasite antigen that cause placental malaria by binding to chondroitin sulfate A expressed in placental tissue. Recent years I have also been involved in work identifying onco-fetal chondroitin sulfate A expression cancers. I am also involved in developing and characterizing a novel virus like particle (VLP) vaccine platform.

Current research

Coordinating role: Clinical development of a VAR2CSA based placental malaria vaccine (PlacMalVac, FP7 Grant agreement no 304815), Glyco-engineering to modulate vaccine immune responses (PhD student grant from FI), Assesment of Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocyte adhesion and vaccine efficacy in ex vivo perfused placental tissue (PhD student grant from UCPH)

Participating role: Development of malaria vaccines (Danida); Delivery of vaccine antigens on virus like particles (Danish independent research council); Malaria research and capacity building for field trials in Tanzania (EDCTP).

Potential conflicts of interest

Co-founder and owner at VAR2 pharmaceuticals; Co applicant on patents on vaccine development in malaria (US20090324628); cancer targeting (WO 2013117705) and VLP vaccine technology (WO 2016112921).

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