Evox Scientific Advisory Board Delighted to Welcome Professor Xandra Breakefield and Dr Bernd Giebel

Following the successful forming of the Evox Scientific Advisory Board, we are delighted to announce two new members to the Board, Professor Xandra Breakefield and Dr Bernd Giebel

We are extremely excited by the wealth of knowledge and experience Xandra and Bernd bring with them and look forward to working together to advance EV-based therapies toward clinical impact.


Professor Xandra Breakefield

Xandra O. Breakefield, Ph.D. is Professor, Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School and Geneticist (Neurology and Radiology) Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA.

She is former President of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. A major emphasis of her laboratory for the past 20 years has been on characterization of tumours of the nervous system and therapeutic intervention. The lab has explored a number of viral vectors, including oncolytic herpes virus, as well as migratory neuroprecursor cells, for delivery of therapeutic proteins and pro-drug activating enzymes for experimental brain tumours. Recent work has focused on characterization of the nucleic acid content of extracellular vesicles (exosomes and microvesicles) released by brain tumour cells, including their use as biomarkers in the serum of glioma patients for evaluation of the genetic status of tumours, their ability to carry out horizontal gene transfer to other cells to promote tumour growth; and their potential for tumour therapy.

Xandra received her Ph.D. from Georgetown University.

Dr Bernd Giebel

Bernd Giebel studied biology at the University of Cologne and received his PhD in 1996 at the Institute for Developmental Biology in Cologne. In his thesis he investigated aspects of the Notch signaling pathway during early neurogenesis of Drosophila melanogaster. In 1999 he moved to the Heinrich-Heine-University of Düsseldorf and started to work with human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. There, he also established his research group focusing on mechanisms, which control the decision of self-renewal versus differentiation of human somatic stem cells. In 2008 he received the Venia Legendi for Molecular Medicine. In November of the same year he moved with his group to the Institute of Transfusion Medicine at the University Hospital Essen. Here, he continues his studies on somatic stem cells. Amongst others his team identified new lineage relationships during early human haematopoiesis and demonstrated that neutrophils are the only granulocytes, classical granulocyte-macrophage progenitors (GMPs) can give rise to. Furthermore, GMPs derive from the same branch of the hematopoietic tree than lymphocytes and not from the erythro-myeloid branch as proposed by the classical model of haematopoiesis.

Via the identification of two asymmetrically segregating proteins in dividing human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, the tetraspanins CD53 and CD63 (frequently used exosome markers), Bernd became interested in exosomes participating in intercellular communication. As a second topic, his group established techniques to purify and analyze exosomes for clinical applications. Together with local, national and international collaboration partners, therapeutic potentials of human mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) derived exosomes are investigated. Apart from studies in different preclinical animal models, an individual treatment attempt of a steroid-refractory GvHD patient has been performed. So far, MSC-exosomes revealed beneficial effects in all these systems.

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