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 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...

Inauguration of the European Plotkin Institute for Vaccinology

December 19th 2022 - 12:28
On May 24th 2022, The European Plotkin Institute for Vaccinology was inaugurated at the Academy Palace in Brussels in the presence of Stanley and Susan Plotkin. On this occasion, the Université libre de Bruxelles and the Universiteit Antwerpen jointly awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa to Professor Stanley Plotkin for his immense contribution to public health and humanity through the development of vaccines and the promotion of vaccination. The degree was awarded by Professor Herman Van Goethem, Rector of the Universiteit Antwerpen, and Professor Annemie Schaus, Rector of the...

New publication on the ontogeny of human gamma delta T cells

October 05th 2022 - 14:57
Knowledge about the ontogeny of T cells in the thymus relies heavily on mouse studies because of difficulty to obtain human material. Here, Guillem Sanchez Sanchez and colleagues from the team of David Vermijlen) performed a single cell analysis of thymocytes from human fetal and paediatric thymic samples to characterise the development of human γδ T cells in the thymus.
Click here to access the publication in Nature Communications 

Doctorate School in Immunology : October 4 2022- save the date!

July 18th 2022 - 10:40
Dear members of the “Ecole doctorale thématique d’Immunologie” of the F.R.S.-FNRS,

after more than 2 years of absence, we am very pleased to announce the next Immunology Day 2022, taking place next October 4th, 2022, in Liège - Sart Tilman. We ll have a super exciting program and this event will be an outstanding opportunity to (re-)connect and present your work !

More infos about registration and abstract submissions coming soon following this link

CIVIS-Summer school at ULB.

June 10th 2022 - 12:47
The lectures of the CIVIS Summer school on « infectious respiratory disease and immunity with a focus on early life period » to be held at ULB-Erasme Campus (Popelin Auditorium) is accessible to all U-CRI members. Please join us, the full program will be accessible on the TEAMS U-CRI Group.

Mustapha Chamekh and Véronique Flamand.