Bacteria must sense and respond to changes in their environment to survive, and their exterior membranes are their first line of defense. Exciting new research reveals a previously unappreciated aspect of this defense, which could be exploited to render antibiotic-resistant bacteria beatable. The research was led by Jean-François Collet, WELBIO investigator at UCLouvain's de Duve Institute in Belgium and colleagues from the University of Utah and Imperial College London. This potentially opens the door to promising new treatments. The results of this study have been published in Plos Biology.
Immunotherapy generated undreamt-of results in the treatment of aggressive and advanced metastatic cancer. But it occurred only one-fourth to one-third of patients are responding positively, leaving a large majority that didn’t respond to immunotherapy. Explaining why and increasing immunotherapy’s efficiency were the research objectives of Benoît Van den Eynde, WELBIO investigator at UCL’s de Duve Institute and director of the Brussels Branch of the Ludwig Cancer Research Institute. The results of this study were published in Nature Communications.
T cells, the cells of our immune system that can kill the tumor, barely infiltrate the tumor. What halts T cell infiltration is far from being understood. Researchers of the de Duve Institute (Pierre van der Bruggen’s team, WELBIO Investigator at the Catholic Université of Louvain) have discovered a novel mechanism by which tumor cells reduce T cell infiltration. The results of this study have been published in Nature Communications.
In 2016, WELBIO supported twenty-two research programs through the Fund for Strategic Fundamental Research (F.R.S. (Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique) [Fund for Scientific Research]-FNRS) as well as three WELBIO Bridge Fund projects. These researches are, among others, carried out in the fields of neurobiology, genetic, immunology and cancer biology. Moreover, the new Board of Directors adopted its 2020 strategic plan, based on 4 main axes.
In a study lead by Prof. Michel Georges (Welbio investigator at GIGA-Ulg), scientists examined the genome of 67,852 individuals and applied three statistical methods to zoom in on which genetic variants were actively implicated in the Inflammatory bowel disease. The results of this study were published in Nature.
WELBIO is pleased to announce that Prof. Decio Eizirik, WELBIO investigator at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, has been invited to present the keynote Ernst Knobil Lecture at the 38th World Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS-2017), to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 1 to August 5, 2017.
New progress in treating breast cancer. Prof. Raspé and Roger’s team (WELBIO - IRIBHM – ULB), in collaboration with the Institut Jules Bordet, identified the activating phosphorylation on T172 of CDK4, as the most relevant biomarker to predict the response to palbociclib. The results of this study have been published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.
A collaborative study led in the laboratories of Prof. Fabrice Bureau (Welbio investigator at ULg), Dr. Thomas Marichal and Sebastian Johnston (Professor at Imperial College London and Director of the MRC & Asthma UK in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma) helps to elucidate how the virus responsible for the seasonal cold shapes our immune system to promote severe exacerbations of asthma in individuals suffering from their disease. The results of this study haves been published in Nature Medicine.
In a recent study published in PNAS, the team of Yves Dufrêne (FNRS research director and WELBIO investigator at the Université Catholique de Louvain) has identified, together with the Trinity College Dublin, a new molecule capable of preventing the formation of S. aureus biofilms.
In a recent article published in PNAS, Prof. Emile Van Schaftingen (WEBLIO investigator at Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)), Alessio Perracchi and Maria Veiga-da-Cunha show that the protein named ‘nitrilase-like protein 1” (Nit1) encoded by a vast majority of eukaryotes and the corresponding yeast protein efficiently hydrolyze the deaminated form of the major intracellular antioxidant glutathione.
GIGA-ULg researchers discovered how a non-hygienic environment, rich in bacterial DNA, helps to protect against asthma. Led by Professor Fabrice Bureau (Ordinary Professor and Welbio Investigator - Walloon Excellence in Life Sciences and Biotechnology) and Dr. Thomas Marichal (Research Associate of the F.R.S.-FNRS), the scientific team show that exposure to bacterial DNA (one of the microbial compounds) drastically amplifies a population of pulmonary macrophages and makes them strongly immunosuppressive, which prevents and treats asthma in mice. The results of this study are published in Immunity.
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Liège welcomes , as Francqui Chair, Pr. Patrice D. Cani, WELBIO researcher at the Louvain Drug Research Institute of the University of Louvain (UCL). Professor Cani’s research aims at understanding and clarifying how some intestinal bacteria are able to engage a dialogue with our organism and contribute to the development of certain diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
To study the effects of Alzheimer's disease in a more natural environment, scientists from the lab of professors Pierre Vanderhaeghen (Welbio investigator at ULB), Jean-Pierre Brion (ULB) and Bart De Strooper (VIB-KU Leuven, Dementia Research Institute-UK) successfully transplanted human neural cells into mouse brains containing amyloid plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. The results of their research showed that, unlike mouse neurons, human neurons that developed in this environment were extremely susceptible to Alzheimer's disease. Their high-impact results are published in leading academic journal Neuron.
In a study published in Nature communications, the group of André Goffinet, WELBIO Investigator at UCL, shows that Diaph3 is expressed in cerebral neural progenitor cells, and absolutely required for a balanced segregation of their chromosomes during mitosis.
The FRFS-WELBIO call for project is open. Deadline: 15 Feb 2017.