After my bachelor in Pharmacy I finished my master in Drug Innovation in 2011, which included internships at the Utrecht University (the Netherlands) and the Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). At the end of my master programme, I started my PhD in the Schiffelers group. In my project, I investigated how the composition and cargo of extracellular vesicles could be engineered in order to make these vesicles better suitable for drug delivery. Specifically, I focused on (re)targeting of extracellular vesicles to tumor cells using nanobodies, preventing vesicle clearance using water-soluble polymers, and loading of therapeutic RNAs into vesicles. I finished my PhD in 2016 and was invited to work as an industrial postdoctoral researcher for the Bioindustry Park Silvano Fumero in Turin (Italy) at the lab of prof. dr. Camussi. There, I developed techniques for the scalable isolation of stem cell-derived EVs to treat kidney injury. After one year, I returned to the Schiffelers lab to work on RNA delivery using extracellular vesicles.
- (Re-)targeting of extracellular vesicles to cancer cells using biochemical strategies and recombinant proteins.
- Loading of extracellular vesicles with therapeutic molecules, such as siRNA.
- In vitro and in vivo assessment of extracellular vesicle behavior (cell uptake/biodistribution) and content transfer.
Selected publications (for a complete overview, click here):
- Kooijmans SAA, Francois JJJM, Schiffelers RM, Vader P. Recombinant phosphatidylserine-binding nanobodies for targeting of extracellular vesicles to tumor cells: A plug-and-play approach. Nanoscale, January 2018, in press.
- Kooijmans SAA, Gómez Aleza C, Roffler SR, van Solinge WW, Vader P, Schiffelers RM. Display of GPI-anchored anti-EGFR nanobodies on extracellular vesicles promotes tumour cell targeting. J Extracell Vesicles, March 2016;5:31053.
- Kooijmans SAA, Fliervoet LA, van der Meel R, Fens MH, Heijnen HF, van Bergen en Henegouwen PM et al. PEGylated and targeted extracellular vesicles display enhanced cell specificity and circulation time. J Control Release, February 2016; 224:77-85.
- Kooijmans SAA*, Stremersch S*, Braeckmans K, de Smedt SC, Hendrix A, Wood MJ, Schiffelers RM, Raemdonck K, Vader P. Electroporation-induced siRNA precipitation obscures the efficiency of siRNA loading into extracellular vesicles. J Control Release, November 2013;172(1):229-238. *Contributed equally
- Kooijmans SAA, Vader P, van Dommelen SM, van Solinge WW, Schiffelers RM. Exosome mimetics: a novel class of drug delivery systems. Int J Nanomedicine, March 2012;7:1525—1541.