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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

Public defense of thesis by Alexandra DREESMAN

August 31st 2020 - 14:16
In order to obtain the academic title of PhD in Medical Sciences, jointly supervised with the "Vrije Universiteit Brussel" (VUB),
Alexandra DREESMAN will publicly defend on Thursday September 3, 2020 at 6 p.m., a doctoral thesis entitled:
"Development and evaluation of new diagnostic markers of tuberculosis in children".
Address of the day: Auditoire Bremer (Build. B - B2.002), route de Lennik 808 - 1070 Brussels

Two upcoming thesis defenses...

August 24th 2020 - 14:56
Caroline La and Maria Pia Di Campli will both very soon publicly defend their thesis to obtain the academic title of PhD in Medical Sciences
  • Wednesday, September 9th, at 5:00 p.m. : Caroline will defend her doctoral thesis entitled "Etude des interactions entre la peau, les intestins et les articulations dans un contexte inflammatoire"
  • Thursday, September 10th, at 5:00 p.m. : Maria Pia will defend her doctoral thesis entitled "Deciphering the role of the mononuclear phagocyte system in post-transplant airway fibrosis"
Modalities of attendance by video-conference will be communicated soon (in...

Valérie Wittamer Group is recruiting

August 24th 2020 - 13:56
Dr. Valérie Wittamer is looking for a Post-Doc to join her group ! 
Topic : Microglia functions in brain repair and regeneration using the zebrafish model

Follow this link for more information...

Job Offer at the Jules Bordet Institute

August 18th 2020 - 13:37
The Jules Bordet Insitute is looking for a PhD candidate !
Research project : immunotherapy and stereotatic irradiation in PDXS preclinical

Follow this link for more information... 

Collaboration between U-CRI and Dr. Das (University of Pittsburgh) for the analyses of high-dimensional immunological datasets

August 07th 2020 - 08:36
Recently, a collaborative research agreement was signed between U-CRI and the Center for Systems Immunology (CSI) at the University of Pittsburgh. This signing concretizes the continuation of a collaboration that began several years ago between Drs Arnaud Marchant and Jishnu Das.

Dr. Jishnu Das is Assistant Professor at the Departments of Immunology and Computational and Systems Biology and Core Faculty member at the CSI. He has strong expertise in computational systems analyses of immunological data and his research focuses on the development and use of novel machine learning and network...

Recent publication : Defensive weapons for neonates and infants

July 29th 2020 - 15:19
Early-life immune responses have been described as suboptimal, with neonates and infants being susceptible to infections. Vγ9Vδ2 T cells are the first T lymphocytes to be generated in the human fetus. Their T cell receptor-mediated responses to in vitro stimulation and their effector functions at birth are weaker compared with those in adults, possibly reflecting the need for tolerance in utero. However, here we show that upon transition to the prominent microbial exposure early after birth, public fetal-derived Vγ9Vδ2 T cells expand and differentiate into potent cytotoxic effector cells....

Recent review: Vaccination strategies to enhance immunity in neonates

July 17th 2020 - 14:23
Neonates are particularly susceptible to infection. This vulnerability occurs despite their responsiveness to most vaccines. However, current vaccines do not target the pathogens responsible for most of the severe neonatal infections, and the time it takes to induce protective pathogen-specific immunity after vaccination limits protection in the first days to weeks of life. Alternative strategies include using vaccines to broadly stimulate neonatal immunity in a pathogen-agnostic fashion or vaccinating women during pregnancy to induce protective antibodies that are vertically transferred to...

Recent publication: Gut Microbiota and the Neonatal Immune system

July 06th 2020 - 14:47
At birth, when neonate meets for the first time its external environment, the immune system is dominated by anti-inflammatory responses. This phenomenon called « neonatal tolerance », long described as being due to the immaturity of the immune system, is actually crucial to avoid the development of excessive and deleterious responses that can be harmful. However, neonates are also facing a lot of dangerous pathogens he has to fight. Therefore, induction of immune protection is as well essential in early life. The maintenance of this dynamic balance between tolerance and protection is a...

Recent publication: Immune Dysfunction in Liver diseases

June 29th 2020 - 15:48
In western countries, liver cirrhosis is generally caused by chronic alcohol consumption. It is responsible for almost 170.000 deaths annually in Europe. Bacterial infections are often responsible for the progression of the disease and death of these patients. However, the mechanisms leading to this immunodeficient state are not well understood. In a recent work published in the Journal of Hepatology, the teams of Gastro-enterology of Erasme Hospital (led by Thierry Gustot) and the Institute for Medical Immunology (led by Stanislas Goriely) studied the immune function of these high-risk...