Pascale Zimmermann

Professor, Faculty of Medicine KU Leuven (Belgium) and Cancer Research Center Marseille (France)

Pascale ZIMMERMANN was born in Brussels, Belgium. She is a pharmacist by training. In 1995, she completed a PhD degree in molecular biology at the Christian de Duve Institute at UC Louvain, on chromatin remodeling by steroid hormones. She subsequently trained in cell biology and biochemistry at VIB KU Leuven, U Ghent and the Austrian Academy of Science, as FWO post-doctoral fellow.

Since 2006, she has a tenured Faculty position at KU Leuven (Belgium), in the Department of Human Genetics. In 2010 she started a team at the Cancer Research Center of Marseille (France) as INSERM fellow with the aim to translate, where possible, her fundamental work towards cancer biology. She provided major contributions to our understanding of the importance of membrane trafficking for the biology of heparan sulfate proteoglycans, the role of phospholipids in the function of PDZ proteins and the molecular mechanisms of exosome biogenesis, loading, uptake and turnover. Together with drug designers and chemists, she developed and validated small pharmacological inhibitors of PDZ interactions, interactions considered as ‘undruggable’. Since 2018, she is holding both teaching and research activities at KU Leuven and the Cancer Research Center of Marseille/AMU. More recently she oriented part of her work towards biotherapies and pharmaceutical innovation, developing synthetic biology strategies for the vectorization, loading and high-yield production of therapeutic nano-sized extracellular vesicles. ORCID 0000-0001-8768-11790

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