Maarten Dewilde, Ph.D.

Laboratory for the Research of Neurodegenerative Diseases
KU Leuven

Maarten Dewilde obtained his B.S. from the University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium, in 2003 and obtained his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences at the same university in 2008. After earning his Ph.D. he left academia to join Ablynx, a pharmaceutical company specializing in developing therapeutic nanobodies (camelid-derived antibody fragments) against a broad range of diseases. As a lead scientist he successfully guided multiple projects through their discovery pipeline. In 2014 he went back to academia to join the Laboratory for the Research of Neurodegenerative Diseases (KULeuven) headed by Prof. Dr. Bart De Strooper. The primary interest of this laboratory is to unravel the fundamental molecular processes that underlie neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and to use this knowledge to develop innovative strategies to slow down or cure these devastating diseases. Professor De Strooper and Dr. Dewilde teamed up to develop nanobodies against central nervous system (CNS)-related targets and to explore their potential to act as a generic shuttle to transport vital drugs over the blood-brain barrier.

Funded Research

Project Description Researchers Funding
Nanobodies to Cross the Blood-Brain Barrier

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a vital barrier between the bloodstream and the brain. This barrier tightly controls which molecules can enter the brain. As a consequence of this barrier, the majority of currently available drugs can’t enter the brain. Importantly, to treat Alzheimer’s disease, drugs need to reach the brain. The aim of this project is to generate a universal tool that can transport drug molecules to the brain.


Selected Publications

These published papers resulted from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support.
S. Veugelen, M. Dewilde, B. De Strooper, L. Chávez-Gutiérrez, Chapter Three - Screening and Characterization Strategies for Nanobodies Targeting Membrane Proteins, Methods in Enzymology, 584, 2017, 59–97