Dries David, Laboratory of Viral Vector Technology and Gene Therapy, Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven

Dries David has a master in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from KU Leuven Belgium.

He has always been fascinated by the topic of gene therapy and the use of viral vectors to cure (inherited) diseases.

In the last year of his masters, he did a thesis on the topic of cystinosis. He successfully transduced patient derived fibroblasts with viral vectors expressing CTNS as proof of principle for a gene therapy for cystinosis.

Dries subsequently decided to continue his research on this disease by embarking on a PhD with Rik Gijsbers as his PhD promoter and Elena Levtchenko as his PhD co-promoter.

Currently Dries is combining viral vector and CRISPR technology, which is readily available in the lab of Rik Gijsbers, and using it on either a cystinotic CRISPR generated model system or using patient derived cells available at the lab of Elena Levtchenko.

The end goal of his research is to provide a proof of concept for a kidney directed gene therapy for cystinosis and making sure patients don’t require kidney transplantations which will ultimately improve the patients’ quality of life.”