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2020 Annual report

2020 marks the 10th anniversary of our first call for projects! Learn about our researchers, their scientific advances and how some of their discoveries have been translated into applications for human health.

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Spin-off creation

NeuVasQ: An innovative approach to fight against neurovascular and neurodegenerative diseases

From disruptive research of scientific founder Prof. Benoit Vanhollebeke (WELBIO ULB) to the development of blood-brain barrier pharmaceuticals aiming at repairing neurovascular function and neurodegenerative diseases.

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Publication dans Science Advances

Maladies auto-immunes, des signatures moléculaire similaires au niveau des tissus cibles ?

L'utilisation d'inhibiteurs de TYK2 - déjà utilisés pour d'autres maladies auto-immunes - protège les cellules β contre les dommages induits par le système immunitaire

Decio Eizirik (WELBIO / ULB) et son équipe décrivent des signatures moléculaires similaires entre différentes maladies auto-immunes, identifiant des voies clés qui pourraient être ciblées pour la thérapie.

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Publication in Nature

Cancer: Tumor driver promoting EMT, metastasis and resistance to therapy

New therapy for FAT1 mutated cancers

Cédric Blanpain (WELBIO – ULB) and his team identify the functions of FAT1, one of the most frequently mutated cancer gene drivers, uncovering that FAT1 mutations promote invasive features, metastasis and resistance to commonly used anti-cancer drugs

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The "Belgian Nobel Prize"

The Francqui-Collen Prize 2020 is awarded to Cédric Blanpain

Prize awarded to a Belgian investigator less than 50 y.o. “who has made an important contribution to science augmenting the prestige of Belgium".”

Director of the Laboratory of Stem Cells and Cancer (ULB), WELBIO investigator, Pr. Cédric Blanpain is awarded the Francqui-Collen Prize for his fundamental research in cancer and stem cells biology.

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Important collaboration agreement with Kaneka Eurogentec

From fundamental research on bacterial stress to the production of biomedicines.

The use of biomedicines is disrupting current medicine

Kaneka and its Walloon subsidiary, Kaneka Eurogentec S.A., enter into a partnership with Pr Jean-François Collet's laboratory (WELBIO UCLouvain) by funding a new joint research group at the Duve Institute.

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Déclarez-vous volontaire !

Luttons tous ensemble contre le Covid-19

Boostons la recherche clinique

WELBIO lance aujourd’hui une plateforme digitale permettant aux citoyens de se déclarer volontaires pour des études cliniques relatives au Covid-19 : https://rechercheclinique.be/

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Publication in Science Translational Medicine

A new target and a potential cure of cardiac hypertrophy inspired from plant biology

Blockade of transmembrane transport of hydrogen peroxide by cardiac Aquaporin-1 with Brahmi prevents myocardial remodelling

These results from the team of Jean-Luc Balligand (WELBIO – IREC - UCLouvain) pave the way for the development of more potent molecules to block aquaporin and treat heart failure more efficiently.

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Publication in Gut

Targeting our second brain to fight diabetes

A ‘jammer’ blocks communication between the gut and the brain

This jammer prevents proper regulation of sugar, causing insulin resistance in people with diabetes. Patrice Cani (UCLouvain) and Claude Knauf (INSERM) also discover that a lipid produced by our body helps preventing this dysfunction.

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Publication in Nature Communications

The RNA alphabet is written letter after letter

A new step towards understanding the complex RNA alphabet

François Fuks (WELBIO – ULB) and his colleagues show the key role of a chemically modified RNA letter, hydroxymethylcytosine (hmC), during the differentiation of embryonic stem cells.

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Publication in Nature Communications

A novel immunotherapy to fight cancer

Combining two complementary immunotherapies increases the efficacy of treatments against cancer

Sophie Lucas (WELBIO – UCLouvain) and her team neutralize a molecule that blocks immune responses against cancer. This novel form of immunotherapy induces tumor regressions by strongly increasing the efficacy of another well-known immunotherapy.

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Publication in Science Translational Medicine

Discovery of a novel gene involved in primary lymphedema

Identifying the genetic causes is crucial for a better management of the disease

The Human Molecular Genetics laboratory headed by Miikka Vikkula (WELBIO – UCLouvain) identified a gene responsible for primary lymphedema, a discovery essential for proper diagnosis and opening possibilities for the development of treatments.

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