Adam Frederik Sander Bertelsen
Primary fields of research
At Centre for Medical Parasitology, University of Copenhagen, I have been involved with the development of anti-malaria vaccines. During this work I have been involved with the development of a generic and easy-to-use technology for making efficient vaccines against both infectious- and noncommunicable chronic diseases. The technology employs “virus-like particles” (VLPs) which are enabled to bind efficiently to various vaccine antigens via a genetically engineered binding-tag on the VLP surface. By simply mixing the tagged VLPs with an antigen of choice (genetically fused to a complementary peptide tag) – VLPs are (within minutes) decorated by the antigen, which is displayed at high density on the VLP surface. This very versatile and cost-effective way of making a VLP based vaccine from any complex antigen could present a paradigm shift in future vaccine design. Three patent applications have currently been filed based on this technology.
Recently, the VLP technology has been further developed to also allow for delivery of different cargos. Specifically, cargo molecules (toxin, siRNA, CRISPR, fluorophores etc.) are efficiently delivered in the “stomach” of VLPs where they are protected against enzymes, and the multivalent display of a specific cell-targeting molecule on the VLP surface provides unprecedented specificity in the delivering of cargos to cells in vivo. Therefore, the ability to efficiently package cargos inside VLPs in combination with the unique ability to decorate VLPs with different targeting molecules, together, provide a state-of-the-art system for in vivo delivery of cargos and has great potential for e.g. treatment of cancer.