2019-2020: an excellent vintage for FNRS!

January 30th 2019

FNRS is funding no fewer than thirteen new research topics in Gosselies over the 2019-2020 period, a number that demonstrates the strong momentum of academic research in the Biopark! A brief overview of recipients.

In total, the funds granted by Belgium's National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) to the Biopark's academic laboratories amount to over a million euros. ‘The success of our labs is testament to our teams' performance and the variety of our research topics’, comments Professor Benoit Vanhollebeke, head of ULB's Department of Molecular Biology (DMB).

A research project

The DMB alone has received twelve of the thirteen grants awarded, including for a research project—which is FNRS's largest grant, and therefore its most competitive. The research project deals with the molecular mechanisms involved in the ammonia transport and signalling processes (supervisor: Anna Maria Marini).

Five research grants in immunology
Four of the research grants (‘crédits de recherche’ or CDR) awarded to the DMB deal with immunology:
  • The CD27/CD70 pathway in immunity and tolerance (supervisor: Muriel Moser),
  • Control of homeostatic T cell proliferation by the AMPK metabolic-reprogramming enzyme (supervisor: Fabienne Andris),
  • Prolyl Hydroxylase 2 expression empowers regulatory T cells to control Th1-like inflammation (supervisor: Oberdan Leo),
  • Decipher the PD-1 signalling in ILC2s from adipose tissue during obesity (supervisor: Guillaume Oldenhove).
The Institute for Medical Immunology has also received a CDR to study the immune mechanisms involved in regulating atopic diseases early in life by administering probiotics to the mother (supervisor: Véronique Flamand).

More research grants

CDRs were also awarded for studies on a variety of topics:
  • Role of the cellular factors CTIP2 and Sp in transcriptional regulation of the retrovirus Human TLymphotropic Virus type 1 ( supervisor: Carine Van Lint),
  • Mechanism of action of Dmrt3/5 transcription factors in cortical development (supervisor: Eric Bellefroid),
  • Novel molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of bacterial toxin-antitoxin modules (supervisor: Abel Garcia-Pino),
  • How a large ribosomal subunit rRNA modification influences mRNA decoding performed by the small ribosomal subunit? (supervisor: Denis Lafontaine),
  • Analysing the role of peroxidasin1 (PXDN1) in angiogenesis and endothelial (dys-) function ( supervisor: Luc Vanhamme).

Equipment grants

Lastly, the IBMM was awarded two grants for equipment to be used to explore the two following topics:
  • Regulation of the stress response via ppGpp levels: controlling the RelA/SpoT concerted output (supervisor: Abel Garcia-Pino),
  • Organ-wide analysis of brain neurovascular communication in real-time and at single-cell resolution (supervisor: Benoit Vanhollebeke).