Camels and Camelids

Curriculum Vitae - Muyldermans Serge (Member)

Muyldermans Serge
  • Graduated as Chemist at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium in September 1977
  • PhD at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium in June 1982 with greatest distinction.
  • The structural organization of chromatosomes (nucleosomes), the subunit of chromatin, (i.e. DNA and histone proteins as occurring in the nucleus of eukaryotes) was investigated for the Ph D dissertation.  This topic remained the main research focus afterwards as well and led to several publications in Nucleic Acids Research, J. Mol. Biol, Biochemistry, J.Biol. Chem and a publication in Nature (1998).
  • As a postdoc with skills in cloning, DNA sequencing and genetic engineering Dr Serge Muyldermans switched the focus of his research towards camel heavy chain antibodies as a result of their serendipitous discovery in the laboratory at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He developed a technology to generate and identify the unique single domain antigen binding fragments (referred to as Nanobodies) of these heavy chain-only antibodies.  This technology became the core of Ablynx spin-off of which he was co-founder (2002).
  • PhD defended in 1982
  • Military service in 1983
  • Since 1984 postdoc on research grants
  • Since 1986 assistant (professor)
  • 1995: postdoc researcher at VIB
  • 1998: 15% Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel & 85% groupleader at VIB
  • Groupleader within Structural Biology department at VIB until December 2014.

Details of current employment

  • Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel since 2003 (retirement on October 1, 2019)   Responsible for courses on ‘Immunochemistry’, ‘Recombinant antibody technology’, ‘Applied Immunology’, ‘Analytical Biochemistry’, ‘Nucleic acid chemistry and genetic engineering’, ‘Combinatorial biochemistry and high throughput techniques’, ‘Biotechnology’ (~300 hours/year).
  • Guest Professor (10%) at Dalian Technical University (China) since November 2019.
  • Founder and scientific adviser (till 2010) of spin-off ‘Ablynx’ a company to identify camel single domain antibodies (Nanobodies) for human therapy and diagnostic. Founded in January 2002, located in Ghent, employing 600+ people and having 7 Nanobodies atvarious stage of clinical phase. Acquisition by Sanofi in June 2018 for 3.9 B €.
  • Founder of NSF (Nanobody Service Facility) a facility to generate Nanobodies for VIB research groups and academic research groups.
  • Co-founder of Zheijang HINT Biopharmaceutical Co, LTD (Xi’an & Hangzhou, China)
  • Advisor of/consultancy’s for Kiso-Ji (Montreal, Canada, generating camel-mouse), Kangyuan (Dalian, China, Nanobodies in Apheresis), Pregene (Shenzhen, China, Nanobodies in CAR-T cells, until 2023), Ajinomoto (Japan), ICBI (CA, US), Moonlake (Zwitserland), Paratus Singapore, Shaanxi Health Innovation Technology.
  • Supervisor of visitors that learned the Nanobody identification technology in our group: S. Tillib (Moscow Acad Sci, Russia); A. Olichon (now prof @ University of Toulouse); Y. Wan (now Director of Joint Center for Nanobody Research and Development between SEU and Egens, China); M. Abbady (AEC, Damas, Syria); R. Ben Abderrazek, Hassiki R.& I Hmila (Pasteur Institute Tunis, & University of Tunis); Behdani M, Evasalipour M &Hababi-Anbouh M (Tehran, Iran), M. Adel Zakri (King Saud University, Saudi); L. Kent (Cambridge University, UK); SigalGelkop (Beer Sheva, Israel)& 40 more
  • Supervision or (co-)promotor of ~ 90 master students from 1990 onwards on camel antibodies and ~20 Ph.D. works on camel antibodies. External jury member at other universities of about 40 PhD theses.
  • Member of the selection committee for the ‘King Faisal Prize-Medicine’ (January 2009).
  • Expert to evaluate (national) PhD scholarships and research projects and external expert in major research projects in Flanders (2006-2013), Belgium, France (ANR), Netherlands, Germany, US (NIH grants), Kazakhstan, Canada, Chili and for EU (FP6 and e-RARE).
  • Peer-reviewerof manuscripts submitted to some 30 journals, including Nature Biotechn., Nature Meth., Nature Immunol Rev, Nature Communications, Scientific Reports, Science, Science Advance, Blood, Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.US, Nucl.Acids Res., J.Biol.Chem., J.Mol.Biol., Anal.Chem., Mol. Immunol., Proteomics, Biochemistry, FEBS Lett., Vet.Immunol.Immunopath. J.Immunol.Meth., Prot.Enging& Design & Select, Biol.Chem., Developm.Comp.Immunol., Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry.
  • Editor tasks for Journal of Camel Practice and Research, Frontiers in Immunology, Biomolecules, Current Opinion in Biotechnology, Antibodies and PLoSOne. Editor of book on ‘Single domain antibodies Methods in Molecular Biology series
  • Annually (before Covid-19), invited 10-15 times to give lectures at international conferences, or seminars at universities & industry on camel antibodies and Nanobody applications. 

Grants held over the last years

  • EU-FP7; Affinomics protein binders for characterization of human proteome function; M. Taussig and 14 others; 2011-2015;  € 520 k
  • VIB; Nanobodies; Muyldermans; 2011-2015; € 400 k
  • US Airforce; Identification of Yersinia pestis specific Nanobodies for diagnosis and therapy; Muyldermans; 2009-2011; $ 50 k
  • EU FP7; A European Infrastructure of Ligand binding; Taussig & 20 others; Muyldermans; 2008-2010; € 30 k €
  • Chromotek licensing fee; Nanobodies against GFP as research biological; Muyldermans; 2009-2012; 285 k € total
  • VUB R&D: Strategic Research Program; Muyldermans; 2013-2017; € 450 k
  • FWO (science council); Toxocara diagnosis with Nanobodies and proximity ligation; Muyldermans; 2014-2017; €240 k
  • SBO: NanoCoMIT: Nanobodies for non-invasive in vivo imaging; 2015-2018; € 500 k
  • FWO: science council; Site-specific labeling of Nbs for in vivo imaging; 2015-2018; € 340 k
  • ERANET: 180 k€: Neuroniche: Nanobodies for spinal cord regeneration.
  • Co-author of about 260 articles on camel antibodies in peer-reviewed international journals (about 20 articles in journals with IF>10; close to 40,000 citations, h-index: 95 – Since 2019: nearly 17,000 citations, h-index 61; source Google Scholar - April2024)
  • 15 articles in books have been published.
  • Editor of book “Single domain Antibodies” (Methods in Molecular Biology) Springer.
  • About 20 patent applications on camel antibodies.
  • 100+ abstracts in proceedings, and poster presentations.

Five most relevant publications of career

1.    Hamers-Casterman C., Atarhouch T., Muyldermans S., Hamers C., Robinson G., BaiyanaSonga E., Bendahman N., &Hamers R.

Naturally occurring antibodies devoid of light chains Nature 363, 446-448, 1993. (3900 citations Google Scholar, April 2024)

2.     Muyldermans S.

Nanobodies – Natural single domain antibodies.

Ann Rev Biochem  82, 775-797, 2013 (IF 34.3) (2117 citations Google Scholar, April 2024)

3.    Ghahroudi A M., Desmyter A., Wyns L., Hamers R., Muyldermans S.

Selection and identification of single domain antibody fragments from camel heavy-chain antibodies.

FEBS Letters  414, 521-526, 1997(1107citations Google Scholar, April 2024)

4.    Muyldermans S., Atarhouch T., Saldanha J., Barbosa JARG,  Hamers R..

Sequence and structure of VH domain from naturally occurring camel heavy chain immunoglobulins lacking light chains.

Protein Engineering  7, 1129-1135, 1994. (744 citations Google Scholar, April 2024)

5.     Jovcevska I, Muyldermans S.

The therapeutic potential of Nanobodies.

BioDrugs  34 (1): 11-26, 2020January 28. (543 citations, Google Scholar, April 2024)

Articles from January 2021 onwards


1.       Clack K, SallamM,  Muyldermans S, Sambasivan P, Nguyen CM, Nguyen NT.

Instant Candida albicans detection using ultra-stable aptomer conjugated gold nanoparticles.

Micromachines 15 (2): 216. Doi: 10.3390/mi15020216. January 31, 2024(IF 3.5)

2.       Ben-AbderrazekRhama, Hamdi Amna, Piccirilli Alessandra, DhaouadiSayda,  Muyldermans Serge, PerilliMariagrazia, Bouhaouala-ZaharBalkiss.

Camel-derived Nanobodies as potent inhibitors against NDM-1 enzyme.

Molecules Accepted February 28, 2024 (IF 4.9)

3.       Mohamed Sallam, Mohammadi Mahan Sainsbury Frank, Nguyen Nam-Trung, Kimizuka Nobuo, Muyldermans Serge, Martina Benesova-Schäfer

PSMA-targeted radiotheranostics in modern nuclear medicine: then, now, and what of the future.

TheranosticsAccepted April 5, 2024 (IF 12.4)

2.       Petersson Marcus, Thrane Sandra W, Gram Lone, Muyldermans Serge, Laustsen Andreas H.

Orally delivered single -domain antibodies against gastrointestinal pathogens.

Trends in Biotechnology S0167-7799(23)00033-1. Doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2023.01.015. Online ahead of print February 9, 2023 (IF 17.3; Q1, 98.4%)

3.       Giulia Monti, Cécile Vincke, MelanieLunding, Anne Mette G Jensen, Peder Madsen, SergeMuyldermans, MadsKjølby Olav M Andersen.

Epitope mapping of nanobodies binding the Alzheimer’s disease receptor SORLA.

Journal of Biotechnology Accepted August 24, 2023 (IF 4.1; Q2, 66.3%).

4.       Van Campenhout Raf, De Groof Timo, Kadam Prashant, Kwak Brenda, Muyldermans Serge, Devoogdt Nick, Vinken Mathieu.

Nanobody-based pannexin1 channel inhibitors reduce inflammation in acute liver injury.

Journal of Nanobiotechnology. 21 (1): 371. Doi: 10.1186/s12951-023-02137-1. October 11, 2023. (IF 10.2)

4.       Yucheng Guo, Zhenlin Ouyang, Wenbo He, Jiaxin Zhang, Qian Qin, Min Jiao, SergeMuyldermans, Fang Zheng,Yurong Wen.

Screening and epitope characterization of diagnostic nanobody against total and activated bacteroide fragilis toxin.

Frontiers in Immunology February 10, 2023(IF 8.786; Q1,79.81%).

5.       Qian Qin, Hao Liu, Wenbo He, Yucheng Guo, Jiaxin Zhang, JunjunShe, Fang Zheng, Sicai Zhang, Serge Muyldermans, Yurong Wen.

Single domain antibody application in bacterial infection diagnosis and neutralization.

Frontiers in Immunology 13: 1014377. September 29, 2022, doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.1014377 (IF 8.786; Q1,79.81%).

6.       Hu Yaozhong, Wang Yi, Lin Jing, Wu Sihao, Serge Muyldermans, Wang Shuo.

Versatile application of Nanobodies for food Allergen Detection and Allergy Immunotherapy.

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 70, 8901-8912, 2022 (IF 5.895, Q1)

7.       Seyedeh Zahra BahojbMahdavi, FatemehOroojalian, ShirinEyvazi,MaryamHejazi, BehzadBaradaran, Nasser Pouladi, Mohammad Reza Tohidkia, AhadMokhtarzadeh, Serge Muyldermans.

An overview on display systems (phage, bacterial and yeast display) for production of anticancer antibodies: Advantages and disadvantages.

International Journal of Biological Macromolecules 208, 421-442, 2022 (IF 6.953, Q1)

8.       Laustsen Andreas H, Greiff Victor, Karatt-Vellatt Aneesh, Muyldermans S. Jenkins Timothy P.

Animal immunization, in vitro display technologies and machine learning for antibody discovery.

Trends in Biotechnology, 39 (12): 1263-1273. December 2021, E-pub, March 25, 2021 (IF 14.343)

9.       Eduardo Ruiz-López, Ivana Jovčevska, Ruth González-Gómez, Héctor Tejero, Fátima Al-Shahrour, Serge Muyldermans and Alberto J. Schuhmacher.

Nanobodies Targeting ABCC3 for Immunotargeted Applications in Glioblastoma.

Scientific Reports12 (1): e22581, December 30, 2022 (IF 4.996, Q2, 74.66%).

10.    Hu Yaozhong, Wang Yi, NieLinqing, Lin Jing, Wu Sihao, Li Shijie, Wu Jing, Ji Xuemeng, Lv Huan,Muyldermans Serge, Wang Shuo.

Exploration of specific Nanobodies as immunological reagents to detect milk allergen of b-lactoglobulin without interference of hydrolytic peptides.

Journal of Agriculture Food ChemistryAcceptedNovember 10, 2022. (IF 5.895, Q1)

11.    Lan-Huong T, Graulus G-J, Vincke C, Smiejkowska N, Kindt A, Devoogdt N, Muyldermans S, Adriaensens P, Guedens W.

Nanobodies for the early detection of ovarian cancer.

International Journal of Molecular Sciences 23, 13687. November 8, 2022.

12.    Hu Y, Lin J, Wang Y, Wu J, Lv H, Ji X, Muyldermans S, Zhang Y, Wang S.

Identification of serum ferritin-specific nanobodies and development towards a diagnostic immunoassay.

Biomolecules 12: e1080 August 5, 2022. doi: org/10.3390/biom12081080 (IF 6.064, Q2, 74.83%)

13.    Al-Amin Rasel A., MutheloPhathutshedzo M.,AbdurakhmanovEldar, Vincke Cecile, Amin Shahnaz,Muyldermans Serge, Danielson Helena U., Landegren Ulf

Sensitive protein detection using site-specifically oligonucleotide-conjugated nanobody reagents.

Analytical Chemistry 94 (28): 10054-10061. July19, 2022 (IF 8.008; Q1)

14.    Ben Abderrazek R, Idoudi F, Ksouri S, Dhaouadi S, Tounsi A, Vincke C, Farah A, Hamdi E, Benlasfar Z, Majdoub H, Muyldermans S, El Ayeb M, Bouhaouala-Zahar B.

Neutralizing dromedary-derived Nanobodies against BotI-like toxin from the most hazardous scorpion venom in the MENA region.

Frontiers in Immunology 13: e863012. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.863012 April 19,2022 (IF 7.561; Q1).

15.    Marino M, Zhou L, Rincon MY, Callaerts-Vegh Z, Verhaert J, Wahis J, Creemers E, Yshii L, Wierda K, Saito T, Marneffe C, Voytyuk I, Wouters Y, Dewilde M, Duqué SI, Vincke C, Levites Y, Golde TE, Saido T, Muyldermans S, Liston A, De Strooper B, Holt M.

AAV-mediate delivery of an anti-BACE1 VHH alleviates pathology in an Alzheimer’s disease model.

EMBO Mol Med, 14, e09824, April 2022 (Q1, IF:10.624)

16.    Cai J,Romao E, Wu G, Li J, Li L, Wang Z, Li Y, Yang J, Shen Y, Xu Z, Muyldermans S, Wang H.

Nanobodies as binding-chaperones stabilize the recombinant Bombyx mori acetylcholinesterase and protect the enzyme activity in pesticide detection.

Enzyme Microb Technol. 155: e-109992. April 2022; doi:10.1016/j.enzmictec.2022.109992.

17.    De Vlaminck K, Romao E, Puttemans J, Pombo-Antunes A-R, Kancheva D, Scheyltjens I, Van Ginderachter JA, Muyldermans S, Devoogdt N, Movahedi K, Raes G.

Imaging of glioblastoma tumor-associated myeloid cells using nanobodies targeting signal regulatory protein alpha.

Frontiers in Immunology 12: e-777524. November 30, 2021; doi:10.3389/fimmu.2021.777524.

18.    De Veirman K, Puttemans J, Krasniqi A, Hanssens H, Romao E, Hose D, Vlummens Ph, Muyldermans S, Breckpot K, Bruchertseller F, Morgenstern A, D’Huyvetter M, Devoogdt N.

CS1-specific single domain antibodies labelled with Actinium-225 prolong survival and increase CD8+ T cells and PD-L1 expression in Multiple Myeloma

Onco Immunology 10 (1) e2000699 (11 pages) November 9, 2021

19.    Yaozhong Hu, EmaRomão, Cécile Vincke2 Lea Brys, Yvon Elkrim, MarylèneVandevenne, Changxiao Liu, Serge Muyldermans.

Intrabody targeting HIF-1α mediates transcriptional downregulation of target genes related to solid tumors.

Int J Mol Sci22 (22): 12335. Doi: 10.3390/ijms222212335. November 15, 2021

20.    Kinimi E, Mahapatra M, Kgotlele T, Makange MR, Tennakoon C, Njeumi F, Odongo S, Muyldermans S., Kock R, PArida S, Rweyenanu M, Misinzo G.

Complete genome sequencing of field isolates of Peste des Petits Ruminants virus from Tanzania revealed a high nucleotide identity with lineage III PPR viruses..

Animals 11 (10): 2976doi: org/10.3390/ani11102976. October 15, 2021

21.    Kinimi E, Muyldermans S., Vincke C, Odongo S, Kock RA, Parida S, Mahapatra M, Misinzo G.

Development of nanobodies targeting peste des petits ruminants virus: the prospect in disease diagnosis and therapy.

Animals 11 (8): 2206 doi: 10.3390/ani11082206. July 26, 2021

22.    Genevois Ph, De Pauw P, Schoonooghe S, Delporte C, Sebti T, Amighi K, Muyldermans S., Wauthoz N.

Development of neutralizing multimeric nanobody constructs directly against Interleukin-13: from immunization to lead optimization.

Journal of Immunology; Online October 13, 2021.

23.    Hu Y, Zhang C., Yang F, Lin J, Wang Y, Wu S, Sun Y, Zhang B, Lv, H, Ji X, Lu Y, Muyldermans S, Wang S.

Selection of specific nanobodies against lupine allergen Lupan 1 for immunoassay development.

Foods10, e2428 doi: org/10.3390/foods&à&02428 October 13, 2021 (IF: 4.350; Q2)

24.    Llauger Gabriela, Monti Demian, Aduriz Matias, RomaoEma, DelinaDumon Analia, Fernanda Mattio Maria, Wigdorovitz Andres, Muyldermans Serge, Vincke Cécile, 

Parreno Viviana, del Vas Mariana

Development of Nanobodies against Mal de Rio Cuarto virus major viroplasm protein P9-1 for diagnostic sandwich ELISA and immunodetection

Scientific Reports 11 (1): 20013 doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-99275-z, October 8, 2021 (IF 4.379; Q1)

25.    Trashin S, Morales-Yanes F, Thiruvottriyur Shanmugam S, Paredis L, Sariego I, Carrion E N, Polman K, Muyldermans S., Gorun S M, De Wael K.

Nanobody-based immunosensor enhanced by photocatalytic-electrochemical redox cycling.

ACS Analytical Chemistry Accepted September 29, 2021, Online ahead of print. Doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.1c02876

26.    Hu Yaozhong, Sun Ying, Gu Jianxin, Yang Feier, Wu Sihao, Zhang Chuan, Ji Xuemeng, Lv Huan, Muyldermans Serge, Wang Shuo.

Selection of specific nanobodies to develop an immuno-assay detecting Staphylococcus aureus in milk.

Food Chemistry 353: 129481, doi 10.1016/jfoodchem.2021.129481, Augustus 15, 2021 (IF 6.301)

27.    Hu Yaozhong, Wu Sihao, Wang Yi, Lin Jing, Sun Ying, Zhang Chuan, Gu Jiaxin, Yang Feier, Lv Huan, Ji Xuemeng, Zhang Yan, Muyldermans Serge, Wang Shuo.

Unbiased immunization strategy yielding specific Nanobodies against macadamia allergen of vicilin-like protein for immune-assay development.

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 69 (17): 5178-5188, 2021. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.1c00390. May 5, 2021 (IF 4.192)

28.    Simões Bárbara, Guedens Wanda, Keene Charly, Kubiak-Ossiwska Karina, Mulheran Paul, Kotowska Anna, Scurr David, Morgan Alexander, Broisat Alexis,Johnson Steven,Muyldermans Serge,Devoogdt Nick,Adriaensens Peter,Mendes Paula.

Direct nanobody immobilization on gold sensors.

ACS Applied Materials and Interface, 13 (15):17353-17360. April 21, 2021 (IF 8.758)

29.    Ackaert C, Smiejkowska N, Xavier C, Sterckx Y, Denies S, Stijelmans B, Elkrim Y, Devoogdt N, Caveliers V, Lahoutte T, Muyldermans S, Breckpot K,Keyaerts M.

Immunogenicity risk profile of Nanobodies.

Frontiers in Immunology 12: e632687, 2021 doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.632687 (IF: 5.058)

30.    Zheng Fang, Zhou Jinhong, Ouyang Zhenlin, Zhang Jiaxin, Wang Xinyi, Muyldermans S. Van Ginderachter Jo, Devoogdt Nick, Wen Yurong, Schoonooghe Steve, Raes Geert.

Development and characterization of nanobodies targeting the Kupffer cell.

Frontiers in Immunology 12: e641819, 2021 doi:10.3389/fimmu.2021.641819 (IF: 5.058)

31.    Pillay, Tahir S., Muyldermans Serge.

Application of single domain antibodies (“nanobodies”) to laboratory diagnosis.

Annals of Laboratory Medicine 41 (6): 549-558, 2021 (IF 2.803, Q2)

32.    Van Campenhout R, Gomes AR, De Groof TWM, Muyldermans S., Devoogdt N, Vinken M.

Mechanisms underlying connexin hemichannel activation in disease.

International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, e3503, 2021.

33.    Muyldermans S.

Applications of Nanobodies

Annual Review of Animal Biosciences9, 401-421, 2021 (IF: 6.775)

34.    Van Campenhout R, Muyldermans S, Vinken M, Devoogdt N, De Groof TWM.

Therapeutic nanobodies targeting cell plasma membrane transport proteins: A high risk/high gain endeavor.

Biomolecules 11 (1): E63. doi: 10.3390/biom11010063, Jan 6, 2021 (IF 3.681)

35.    MuyldermansSerge.

A guide to: Generation and design of nanobodies.

FEBS J., 228: 2084-2102, 2021