Nico CallewaertProfessor at University of Ghent
Nico Callewaert is scientific director for VIB’s Center for Medical Biotechnology, in which 125 scientists work to innovate biomedical molecular analytics and bio-engineering. In synthetic biology, the lab is focused on pathway engineering in the eukaryotic secretory system to make cells produce biopharmaceuticals with fine-tuned properties, especially through glycosylation modifications. This resulted e.g. in the GlycoSwitch glycan humanization system in Pichia pastoris, biotechnology's most favored yeast for the production of biopharmaceuticals. Another part of this research formed the basis for the startup company Oxyrane (Ghent, Belgium), which develops improved lysosomal enzyme replacement therapies produced in glyco-engineered yeast. More recent work deals with glyco-engineering of mammalian cells (GlycoDelete technology), engineering of the BCG vaccine for tuberculosis, machine learning in protein secretability prediction and oral delivery of biopharmaceuticals, including antibodies. Nico Callewaert is an inventor of more than 200 patent applications in 31 different families.