Els Verhoeyen, PhD is an research director at the institute for health and medical research (INSERM) with a dual affiliation: the international center for infectiology research (CIRI) in Lyon (France) and the Mediterranean Centre for Molecular Medicine (C3M) in Nice (France). Her research is focused on the development of lentiviral vectors and gene editing tools for gene therapy. In particular via surface display on these vectors with envelopes from heterologous viruses to allow specific transduction of gene therapy target cells. She has engineered lentiviral vectors that allow efficient transduction of T cells, B cells and hematopoietic stem cells. More recently, she targeted lentivectors to T cells in order to generate chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells directly in vivo in human blood system mice. More recently, she developed virus-like particles carrying CAS9 protein and associated gRNAs as RNA, which is an improved system for delivery of the gene editing machinery (CRISPR/CAS9) in blood cells and organoids.
She is also part of a CRISPR/CAS9 screening Platform to guide researchers in their project (in Nice) and is also founder of a retroviral vector production platform in Lyon.
Els Verhoeyen is also the president of the French society for cell and gene therapy society (SFTCG) and is in 2022 elected as board member of the European society (ESCGT).
She acts as the main supervisor of DC5.