Research aimed at protecting human health is well developed at the ULB. Involving doctors, psychologists, biomechanics, physiotherapists, osteopath, biologists, pharmacists, chemists, engineers, physicists, mathematicians, it revolves around the ULB hospital network in Brussels (the university hospitals Erasmus, Bordet, Brugmann and Huderf, as well as the Iris network) and in Hainaut (Charleroi, La Louviere, Mons).
Synergies with the hospital network enable the implementation of approaches featuring translational and personalised medicine: from the laboratory to a patient's bed and vice-versa. The most advanced research is thus made available to patients. In return the clinical characteristics of patients and the data stored in biobanks or gained from genome sequencing are analysed, using bioinformatics, in an effort to advance research.
In the medical field, a substantial amount of research effort is being invested in cancer, the immune system and its deficiencies, neurological diseases, infectious diseases (especially AIDS and sleeping sickness), diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, infertility, as well as in the relationship between micro-particles and cardiovascular diseases or problems related to motor skills and rehabilitation, with a focus on the elderly and infants.
Several ULB teams are similarly working on subjects of social relevance such as the psychological factors associated with prevention, screening, the treatment and palliation of medical conditions (particularly cancer), the care of patients with chronic diseases and addictions, various forms of psychosis, or the experience of conception and birth.
The research labs of the Faculty of Pharmacy use the most advanced biochemical and bioanalytical techniques and platforms for identifying new active ingredients and therapeutical targets, and developing more efficient and more reliable new medicines. There is also extensive collaboration between medical teams and engineers and physicists to develop new tools for medical use, ranging from imaging to the development of less invasive surgical instruments.
Last but not least, the economic, social and ethical dimensions of health are intensively studied: specific behavioural features associated with health (looked at also from the perspective of social inequality), HR requirements in healthcare institutions, vaccination programmes, cancer monitoring, etc. Special attention is accorded to less-developed countries, with which a large number of collaboration projects and training programmes exist.
Main research projects (since 2010)
Actions de recherche concertée, ARC
Interuniversity Attraction Pole, IAP
European projects (7th Framework programme, > 500 Keuros)
Regional projects (> 500 Keuros)
European programmes for the mobility of researchers (since 2008)
ITN Marie Curie
Main prizes and international recognition (since 1970)