Molecular Biologyi and Biotechnologies

The ULB has an outstanding tradition of research in the fields of organic chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology. Back in the 1940's, Jean Brachet (1909-1988), one of the discoverers of RNA, and with him the whole "Groupe du Rouge-Cloître", played a major global role in the molecular biology revolution. Working at the ULB, this outstanding phalanx trained generations of researchers at the highest level, as evidenced by the number of ULB professors awarded Francqui Prizes by international juries.

The current upholders of this tradition are studying the role played by genes and their expression mechanisms, with a special focus on regulatory cascades. This work is helping us to gain a better understanding of cell physiology (whether in bacteria, yeasts, parasites or mammals), embryo development, and certain infectious diseases such as the AIDS HIV virus or that of bovine leukaemia.

Technologies using molecular biology are omnipresent throughout the ULB in all life science fields. They are used extensively for research in the fields of oncology, immunology, neuroscience, genetics, but also in agronomics, for studying evolution or animal communities. ULB researchers rely on technological platforms equipped with the latest facilities and operated by highly skilled staff, especially on the campus of the Erasmus teaching hospital in Brussels and at the Biopark Charleroi Brussels South.

Main research projects (since 2010)

Actions de recherche concertée, ARC

Interuniversity Attraction Pole, IAP

Regional projects (> 500 Keuros)

  • HOPE 4PD: Identification et validation d'une nouvelle cible de type GPCR pour le traitement de la maladie de Parkinson

  • CIBLES: Cibles thérapeutiques et diagnostiques identifiées par génomique fonctionnelle

ERC Grant

  • Etienne Pays, ARC Advanced Grant 2015

Main prizes and international recognition (since 1970)

  • Hubert Chantrenne, FNRS quinquennial prize 1976-80

  • Etienne Pays, Francqui Prize 1996 (parasitology)

  • René Thomas, Francqui Prize 1975 (Molecular Biology); FNRS quinquennial prize 1981-5