News 2019
New ERC Consolidator Grants for WELBIO investigators

Two WELBIO investigators from Université libre de Bruxelles have obtained Consolidator Grants from the European Research Council (ERC). Their projects are dedicated to the Blood-Brain Barrier and to multidrug-resistant bacteria.

Transplanting human nerve cells into a mouse brain reveals how they wire into brain circuits

A team of researchers led by Pierre Vanderhaeghen and Vincent Bonin (VIB-KU Leuven, Université libre de Bruxelles and NERF) showed how human nerve cells can develop at their own pace, and form highly precise connections with the surrounding mouse brain cells. These findings shed new light on the unique features of the human brain and open new perspectives for brain repair and the study of brain diseases. This work has been supported by WELBIO.

Cancer metastasis: tumor plasticity matters

Publication in Cell Reports: A research team led by Cédric Blanpain, WELBIO investigator at the Université Libre de Bruxelles uncovers the importance of tumor plasticity for cancer metastasis. They provide evidence that tumor cells undergo epithelial to mesenchymal transition during the metastatic process initiation, and mesenchymal to epithelial transition also at the metastatic site.

Insights into the genetics of type 1 diabetes

Decio L. Eizirik, Welbio researcher at the ULB Center for Diabetes Research, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, and his co-workers clarified the role for pancreatic beta cells in type 1 diabetes. This work provides an explanation for the reasons behind the immune system targeting beta cells under special conditions. This study is published in Nature Genetics.

Identification of a key player in the regulation of intestinal inflammation by epithelial cells

Thomas Marichal (WELBIO and ERC investigator, FRS-FNRS Research Associate) and his team identified a key role of RABGEF1 protein in the regulation of intestinal inflammation by epithelial cells. This study is published in Mucosal Immunology.

"Rentrée des chercheurs WELBIO"

Ce mois d’octobre marque le lancement de 14 nouveaux projets FRFS-WELBIO. Ils s’ajoutent à 14 autres projets qui ont passé avec succès leur évaluation à mi-parcours. Au total, la Région wallonne investit ainsi, sur deux ans, près de 15 millions d’euros dans des projets très ambitieux pour appuyer la recherche fondamentale dans le domaine stratégique des sciences de la vie.

A common denominator triggers asthma in pro-allergic environments such as pollution or excessive hygiene

In a study published in Nature Immunology, Professors Thomas Marichal (FRS-FNRS Research Associate, Welbio and ERC investigator) and Fabrice Bureau (Welbio investigator) and their teams from GIGA ULiège identified a totally unexpected actor who represents a common denominator in different pro-allergic environments.

New populations of immune cells identified in the lungs

In an article published in Nature Communications, the Immunophysiology Laboratory (GIGA Institute, ULiège) led by Thomas Marichal (WELBIO investigator) reveals new insight regarding a population of cells of the pulmonary immune system : the interstitial macrophages. This new knowledge is a further step towards new approaches to prevent respiratory diseases.

To become, or not to become... a neuron

Researchers led by Pierre Vanderhaeghen and Jérôme Bonnefont (WELBIO-ULB and VIB-KU Leuven) have unraveled a new mechanism controlling the switch between growth and differentiation of neural stem cells during brain development. Their findings have been published in the journal Neuron.

Mutant calreticulins: first example of oncogenic “rogue” chaperones

Recent results just published by WELBIO Investigator Stefan Constantinescu (UCLouvain) and his team in the journal Blood report a novel mechanism by which that a class of mutants in the chaperone calreticulin induce blood cancers denoted as myeloproliferative neoplasms.

New type of bacteria named after WELBIO !

A newly discovered bacterium has been named after our research institute. The human gut microbe was discovered during a project led by Patrice Cani (WELBIO & FNRS investigator at UCLouvain), who proposed the scientific name Dysosmobacter welbionis

A bacteria likely to reduce the cardiovascular risks of 1 in 2 people

Patrice Cani, WELBIO investigator at University of Louvain (UCLouvain), and his team conducted the first pilot study in humans to observe the impact of the bacteria Akkermansia, particularly on the reduction of cardiovascular risk factors. The results are published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine. The bacterium significantly limits the increase of several risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

With 7.5 millions € for 14 new projects, WELBIO and the FNRS give another boost to life sciences research !

WELBIO and the FNRS just selected 14 new life sciences research projects (on 65 proposals). These very high-level projects will benefit from a total budget of 7.5 millions of euros over a 2-year period. At the same time, 14 ongoing projects were renewed for a second 2-year period. All in all, nearly 15 millions of euros will be invested by the Walloon Region in very ambitious projects to boost basic research in the strategic axis of life sciences.

Decio Eizirik, Visiting Professor at the Danish Diabetes Academy

Decio L. Eizirik, Welbio Researcher at the ULB and Director of the ULB Center for Diabetes, has been appointed for a prestigious Visiting Professorship at the Danish Diabetes Academy (DDA). Denmark is a leading country in diabetes research, and the Danish Diabetes Academy is an international reference in the field.

Annual Report 2018

Here is the annual report 2018 of WELBIO. It provides you with information on our projects portfolio, on WELBIO investigators, their publications and the awards they received, on technology transfer progresses as well as the financial report.

Embryology : understanding how mesoderm cells form the extra-embryonic structures

The research team of Isabelle Migeotte, WELBIO investigator at the ULB, describes major differences in mesoderm cells when they migrate in extra-embryonic vs. embryonic regions, providing a molecular framework to understand how cells with distinct fates adapt to, and probably modify, their tridimensional environment. The results of this study have been published in eLife.

The 2019 FRFS-WELBIO call for projects is open !

The 2019 FRFS-WELBIO call for projects is open. Applications to be submitted and validated by the principal investigator on the FRS-FNRS Semaphore platform before Friday 15 March 2019 14:00.


A Francqui Chair 2018-2019 awarded to a WELBIO investigator

The Francqui Foundation aims at “furthering the development of higher education and scientific research in Belgium". On the proposal of Universities, the Foundation grants each year a number of “Francqui Chairs” for inviting a Professor from another Belgian University to provide 10 h of specialized teaching. Prof. Cédric Blanpain, WELBIO investigator at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Director of the Laboratory Stem Cell and Cancer, will be holding the Collen - Francqui Chair 2018-2019 at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). The inaugural lecture will take place on 22 February 2019. It will focus on Mechanisms regulating pluripotent stem cells.

Order from disorder: a bacterial transcription regulation story

In a study published in Nature Chemical Biology Abel Garcia-Pino WELBIO investigator at the Université libre de Bruxelles and colleagues from the Cellular and Molecular Microbiology team from the ULB provided for the first time experimental evidence to a long held hypothesis on small bacterial operons encoding a toxin and a corresponding neutralizing antitoxin, so-called toxin-antitoxins (TA) modules: antitoxins act as chaperones that can trap toxins while they are produced by the ribosome.

UCLouvain Research Obesity - When the intestine loses its ability to communicate to the brain: “Stop, do not eat fat anymore!”

A research, started in 2010 and financed by the WELBIO-FNRS, the Fonds Baillet-Latour and an ERC, has just been published in Nature Communications. Prof. Patrice Cani (WELBIO investigator at Louvain Drug Research Institute, UCLouvain) and his team, in association with Canadian, Italian, French and Dutch researchers, were able to target a dysfunctional enzyme in overweight or obese subjects, therefore the message “I am not hungry anymore” is no more transmitted to the brain.

Failure to eliminate a phosphorylated glucose analog leads to neutropenia in patients with G6PT and G6PC3 deficiency

In a study led by Prof. Emile Van Schaftingen (WELBIO investigator at Université Catholique de Louvain), scientists showed that 2 rare genetic diseases leading to an abnormally low concentration of neutrophils in the blood (neutropenia) are due to a lack of metabolic repair which causes the accumulation of a toxic product. The results of this study have been published in PNAS.

Last update : 21/1/2015 - Vie privée - Printable version -  © 2020 WELBIO

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