About the ULB Center for Research in Immunology (U-CRI)

BioPark Campus
Brugmann Campus
Erasme Campus
Institut Jules Bordet
Plaine Campus
Given the major recent progresses in immunology, the teams involved in the field at the ULB have created a dedicated research institute. This institute brings together researchers from the Faculties of Sciences, Medicine and Pharmacy. Its aim is to promote fundamental and translational immunology. The teams, led by more than 25 principal investigators, are active on the BIOPARK campus (Gosselies) and the HEALTH POLE (Erasme campus, Institut Jules Bordet and Brugmann campus).

Research Axis:

Molecular Immunology : With a particular emphasis on innate immune cells and T lymphocytes, these projects involve state-of-the art approaches in molecular biology, flow cytometry and imaging to study transcriptional, post-transcriptional and epigenetic processes.

Pre-clinical Immunology : It involves the development of mouse models for human pathologies or therapeutic interventions. Several projects rely on implantable/genetic tumor models, infections and vaccination protocols or chronic inflammation. The animal facilities from the BIOPARK campus include a specific pathogen-free structure and several units dedicated to experimentation and infectious pathogens.

Human and translational Immunology : Research teams involved in human immunology are mainly located in the HEALTH POLE. It involves projects in vaccinology, infectious diseases, hematology and cancerology that rely on strong collaborative networks with clinicians.

Latest news

New publication in Nature Communications: Invariant γδTCR natural killer-like effector T cells in the naked mole-rat

May 30th 2024 - 11:33
Naked mole-rats are long-lived rodents known to be resistant to the development of cancer, yet their immune system remains poorly explored. Now, in a study published in Nature Communications, Guillem Sanchez Sanchez from the team of David Vermijlen with collaborators from the University of Rochester and from IMGT identify natural killer-like effector γδ T cells that express a dominant γδ T cell receptor and may serve a role in tumour immunosurveillance.

EDT-Immunology PhD day "Immunology Research: From Disease to Therapeutic Solutions": May 23, 2024

April 02nd 2024 - 08:58
Dear colleagues,

It's our pleasure to invite you to attend the EDT-Immunology PhD day "Immunology Research: From Disease to Therapeutic Solutions". The conference will take place on May 23, 2024 in the beautiful building of La Grand Poste in the city center of Liege (Belgium).

The registration and abstract submission are now open via this link

Abstract submission is open until April 28th and registration until May 10th.

Registration is free but mandatory for all Belgian university-affiliated members ! The event is open to all (PIs, post-docs, PhD, master students, technicians, etc) and will...

Princess Lilian Foundation – Visiting professorships 2024 - DAVID LYDEN: "The premetastatic niche"

March 27th 2024 - 09:37
H.R.H. Princess Marie-Esmeralda of Belgium, the Princess Lilian Foundation and the University of Liège are pleased to invite you to the opening ceremony of the Foundation's annual scientific research week.

This year, the Foundation will welcome and honour Professor David Lyden from Weill Cornell Medical College (WCM, USA). Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Cellular Oncology Programme at WCM, he is internationally renowned for his pioneering research on the pre-metastatic niche and biology of exosome in the metastatic process.

Day 1 (ULiège) Wednesday April 17
Opening ceremony in the...

New article in Cell Reports: How Th2 cells control obesity

March 13th 2024 - 17:53
The adipose tissue homeostasis relies on the interplay between several regulatory lineages, such as ILC2, Th2, Treg, eosinophils and type 2 macrophages. Among them, ILC2 are numerically the dominant source of type 2 cytokines and are considered as major regulators of adiposity. Despite the overlap in immune effector molecules and sensitivity to alarmins (TSLP, IL-33) between ILC2 and resident memory Th2 lymphocytes, the role of the adaptive axis of type-2 immunity remains unclear. Kevin Englebert and colleagues from the group of Guillaume Oldenhove show that mice deficient for CD27, a member...

New publication on Tumor-associated Neutrophils

January 10th 2024 - 08:32
Neutrophils are white blood cells essential to our innate defense against pathogens. They patrol the body for 1 or 2 days, then die and are replaced by new neutrophils.
Using genetically-engineered mouse models of lung cancer, several research groups, including Prof. Etienne Meylan's, have recently observed that neutrophils entering the tumor can have an increased lifespan compared to other neutrophils, a behaviour that endows them with tumor-supportive functions. Now, in a study published in EMBO Molecular Medicine, Etienne Meylan and his laboratory have identified the molecular mechanisms...

Homeostatic PD-1 signaling restrains EOMES-dependent oligoclonal expansion of liver-resident CD8 T cells

October 05th 2023 - 11:54

Immune checkpoint blocade (ICB) therapy has revolutionised the treatment of certain cancers by enabling reactivation of our own lymphocytes to fight tumour cells. Unfortunately, these treatments can be associated with significant side-effects, as they also block important mechanisms that confer tolerance to our healthy cells. It is therefore important to understand the physiological role of these regulatory pathways in order to prevent the complications associated with immunotherapy. In a work published in Cell Reports, Marie Le Moine and colleagues from the teams of Stanislas Goriely,...

Marie Le Moine wins the BIS Award for her research on T cell memory

June 02nd 2023 - 15:49
On November 21, 2022, on the occasion of the event "A Belgian taste of Immunology" organized by the Belgian Society for Immunology (BIS) and the pharmaceutical company GSK, Leslie Naesens from the University of Ghent and Marie Le Moine from the Université Libre de Bruxelles have both won a prize for their innovative research in immunology. This event illustrates the key place of immunology as a booming science in Belgium, both in universities and within GSK.

On November 21, the Belgian Society for Immunology (SBI) proudly awarded the prize for the best presentation in research in immunology...

New publication in Cancer Immunology Research : PHD2 Constrains Antitumor CD8 T-cell Activity

June 02nd 2023 - 15:31
The successes of immunotherapy no longer need to be demonstrated. The identification of tumor antigens, the analysis of immune responses within tumors and the effect of checkpoint inhibitors demonstrate that the immune system is able to detect and control cancer cells in a proportion of patients. However, the tumor microenvironment is complex and can inhibit anti-tumor immune responses. This environment is characterized, among other things, by oxygen deprivation due to the presence of poorly functioning vessels.
The Immunobiology Laboratory (ULB Center for Research in Immunology) studied the...

10X Genomics Technology Day

February 21st 2023 - 16:24
March 16 in the BIOPARK (Auditoire Brachet)

Welcome and intro by ULB 12:45 – 13:00 Abdulkader Azouz, ULB
10x Genomics: Enabling the Next Generation of Single Cell Experiments 13:00 – 13:45 Koen De Gelas, 10x Genomics
Identification of immunosuppressive mechanisms by which human macrophages hamper T cell-mediated antitumoral immunity 13:45 – 14:00 Aurélie Detavernier, ULB
Abdulkader Azouz, ULB
Coffee break 14:00 – 14:20
Unravelling γδ T cell biology through the lens of single cell genomics 14:20 – 14:35 Guillem Sánchez Sánchez, ULB
Identification of predictive biomarkers...

New publication on the Preventive impact of maternal probiotics administration on the development of neonatal Th-2 type allergic airways disease

February 14th 2023 - 10:14
Gut microbiota plays a role in the neonatal immune education and could influence susceptibility to Th2-type immune disorders, such as allergies, the most prevalent chronic diseases in early childhood. Justine Smout and the team of Véronique Flamand observed that probiotic supplementation to pregnant/breastfeeding mice prevents the development of allergic airways disease in their offspring. In this setting, she demonstrated that the Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain (Vésale Pharma) modulates the neonatal allergen-specific CD4 Helper T-cell activation.

Maternal Lactobacillus rhamnosus...