Prof. Dr. Stefaan De Smedt

Prof. Dr. Stefaan
De Smedt

Prof. Stefaan De Smedt studied pharmacy at Ghent University (Belgium). He graduated from Ghent University in 1995 and joined the pharmaceutical development group of Janssen Research Foundation. Since 1997 he has been a post-doctoral fellow of the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research at the Departments of Pharmacy of respectively Ghent University and the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands). In October 1999 he became Professor in Physical Pharmacy and Biopharmacy at Ghent University where he initiated research on advanced delivery of biotherapeutics (especially nucleic acids)/nanomedicines and founded the Ghent Research Group on Nanomedicines. He is director of the Laboratory of General Biochemistry & Physical Pharmacy at Ghent University.  

Tel: 0032 9 2648047 (secretary)
Tel: 0032 9 264 8076 (direct)
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Board positions

Dr. De Smedt served as dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Ghent University from 2010 till 2014. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Ghent University (2014-2022) and the Board of Directors of Ghent University Hospital (2019-2022). At Ghent University he has facilitated and promoted major research initiatives like the installation of the Biophotonic Research Group (Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2007) and, more recently, the interdisciplinary consortium ‘Leveraging Biopharmaceutical R&D at UGent’ (2022).

Guest professorships

In 2007 Dr. De Smedt has been Guest Professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) and from 2012 till 2014 he was a Guest Professor at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). He has been Guest Professor at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2016-2017), Distinguished Visiting Scientist of the Chinese Academy of Sciences at the University of Science and Technology of China (Hefei 2017), Specially Appointed Professor of Nanjing Forestry University (since 2016) and Adjunct Professor at the University of Science and Technology of China (Hefei, 2020).


Since 2004 Dr. De Smedt serves as the European Associate Editor of the Journal of Controlled Release (JCR), being a leading journal in Pharmacology & Pharmacy; In 2015 he became Editor of JCR (for the region Europe- the Middle East & Africa), Deputy Editor-in-Chief in 2020 and Editor-in-Chief in 2023. 

Membership academies

He is a member of the Flemish Royal Academy of Medicine (elected 2015), the European Academy of Sciences (section medicine & life sciences; elected 2018) and the Académie Nationale de Pharmacie de France (elected 2019).


Dr. De Smedt has authored/co-authored numerous manuscripts on advanced drug delivery including contributions to Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Nature Materials, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Communications and Nature Nanotechnology, among other top journals. In 2018, 2022 and 2023 he became awarded Highly Cited Researcher (interdisciplinary sciences) by Web of Science (Thomson Reuters). 


Dr. De Smedt has been the scientific (co-)promoter and mentor of > 60 defended doctoral theses; 12 of his doctoral/post-doctoral fellows are successful assistant/associate/full professors at various faculties in Belgium and abroad. Six of them, Prof. dr. K. Braeckmans (2015), Prof. dr. S. Soenen (2017), Prof. dr. B. De Geest (2018), Prof. dr. K. Raemdonck, Prof. dr. Félix Sauvage (2022) and Prof. dr. Roos Vandenbroucke (2023) received the most prestigious Starting / Consolidator Grants from the European Research Council (ERC).


Dr. S.C. De Smedt received the Scott Blair Biorheology Award for his Ph.D work. For his research on drug delivery he received the Controlled Release Society Young Investigator Award 2006 (Vienna) and the APV Research Award 2010 for Outstanding Research Achievements in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Malta). In 2016 he and his co-worker Dr. Koen Raemdonck received the T. Nagai Research Achievement Award (Seattle). In 2017 he was awarded as Distinguished Scientist of the Chinese Academy of Sciences  (Hefei). In 2021 he received the Samyang Award in Honor of Sung Wan Kim from the Controlled Release Society. He has been elected as a member of various Academies (see above).

Patents/valorisation activities

Dr. Stefaan De Smedt filed +25 patents on carriers (and adjuvants) for drug delivery, and materials (and methods) for diagnostics.  He is a scientific founder of Memobead Technologies, a spin-off from Ghent University, whose technology was further developed by Biocartis in Lausanne (Swiss) and Mechelen (Belgium). Currently MyCartis (Ghent) commercializes the technology. Dr. De Smedt has been a member of the Drug Delivery Advisory Panel of Santen (Japan) specialized in ophthalmological medicines. He is co-founder of Trince, a spin-off from Ghent University (2021), with a focus on in vitro transfection technologies for the purpose of cell therapies.


Since the beginning of his career at Ghent University Dr. De Smedt teaches the courses ‘Physical Chemistry of Drugs’ to bachelor students in pharmaceutical sciences and ‘Biopharmacy of Biotechnological Drugs’ to master students from various UGent-faculties. Since 2017 the Biopharmacy course continues as ‘Cutting Edge Technologies for the Administration of Drugs – Nanomedicines’ in the program. He has intensively participated in the Socrates–Erasmus EU Program; under his guidance many (> 100) Belgian master students stayed in universities all over Europe. Tens of master students from various countries in Europe joined his research group.  Between 2010-2014 he initiated and led operations in his faculty which resulted in modern study programs for master students in pharmaceutical sciences (master in pharmaceutical care and master in drug development). More recently he initiated the courses ‘Advanced Biotherapies’ and ‘Major Biopharmaceutics’ (Master in Drug Development). From 2014 till 2022 he served as president of the bachelor program committee; a fully renewed study program ‘Bachelor in Pharmaceutical Sciences’ was introduced in the academic year 2020-21.