Luc Bertrand's research focuses on post-translational modifications involved in the regulation of the metabolism and cardiac function. He studies more specifically the role of the AMPK protein.
WELBIO is currently funding 28 strategic fundamental research projects in life sciences. 28 principal investigators affiliated to 4 universities of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation are supported through 3 different funding instruments :
- "Advanced Grants" for senior investigators
- "Starting Grants" for younger investigators
- "Continuation Grants" for WELBIO researchers whose previous WELBIO-funded research works have led to actions towards valorisation
FRFS-WELBIO research projects are intended to be four years long and divided into two periods of two years. The renewal of the research project is based on an evaluation of the intermediate scientific report.
Agnes Noel’s work focuses mainly on tumour vascularisation, in particular on the formation of new lymphatic vessels (lymphangiogenesis), a biological process which contributes to cancer progression and metastasis dissemination towards lymph nodes.
David Alsteens investigates, at the molecular level, the forces at play in protein structures, in cellular adhesion, in ligand-receptor binding or in the binding of the virus to the cell it is infecting.
Esteban Gurzov aims to understand molecular basis of metabolic pathophysiology. He investigates more specifically the role of phosphatases in metabolic diseases and their complications, such as cancer.
Regis Hallez works on the regulation of bacterial stress by (p)ppGpp. This “alarmone”, which is produced by virtually all bacteria in response to fluctuations in nutrient availability, profoundly reshapes the bacterial physiology.
Alain Chariot investigates the role of genes that are not well characterised but are associated with genetic disorders when they lose their function, in cancer models. This project focuses on protein reprogramming in immune responses and cancer.
Jean-Francois aims to understand how bacterial cells defend themselves against external aggressions, in order to improve our ability to combat them. He studies, in particular, the oxidative stress and envelope stress.
Decio L. Eizirik aims to understand the pathogenesis of type-1 diabetes (T1D), more specifically the role of diabetes genes, endoplasmic reticulum stress and alternative splicing in pancreatic β cell deficiencies.
Jean-Luc Balligand studies cardiac remodelling, i.e. molecular and biological modifications of the cardiac muscle under stress (for example, a heart attack). This remodelling, which is characterised by cardiac hypertrophy, leads to heart failure.
Francois Fuks’ research is dedicated to epigenetics and its role in cancer. Epigenetic alterations are mainly known as changes in DNA and histones. RNA epigenetics is emerging as a brand-new field of research.
Pierre Close studies transfer RNA modication and protein translation reprogramming supporting the expression of specific proteomes that are required for the survival of cancer cells, the formation of metastases and resistance to treatment.
Abel Garcia-Pino studies the molecular bases for the survival of bacteria and, in particular, bacterial persistence, a physiological restart mechanism that allows certain cells to resist a wide variety of stresses.
Benoit Vanhollebeke aims to gain a better understanding of neurovascular signalling, the basis of the blood-brain barrier, the finely regulated interface between the brain and the vascular system which isolates synaptic communication from the blood.
Patrice Cani studies the interactions between the gut microbiota, the host and biological systems such as the endocannabinoid system and the innate immunity in obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic inflammation.
Marc Parmentier has focused for many years on the characterization of orphan G protein-coupled receptors. He concentrates now on the functional characterization of specific ligand/receptor systems.