3 projects selected in VIB grand challenges program, additional projects may follow after new call

17 September 2018

The VIB Grand Challenges Program is a translational research program with which we aim to significantly increase the societal impact of VIB. We are convinced that this can be done by teaming up with experts outside VIB who have complementary expertise (clinic, agriculture, engineering …). Together we can exploit our knowledge, expertise and toolbox to generate new, otherwise untapped avenues to create added value for society. Three projects were selected and will receive funding up to 2.5 M€. We look forward to the outcome of these collaborations!

1. Overcoming the main current diagnostic challenges in hepatology practices

  • Identify and validate novel biomarkers for hepatology practice to guide cost-effective use
    of the pharmacological and surgical treatments in the field
  • VIB groups: Nico Callewaert, Kris Gevaert, Francis Impens & Lennart Martens from the VIB-UGent Center for Medical Biotechnology, and Bart Ghesquière from the VIB Metabolomics Expertise Center at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology
  • Non-VIB PI’s: Jo Vandesompele (UGent), Hans Van Vlierberghe (UGent/UZ Gent), David Cassiman and Ina Jochmans (KU Leuven/UZ Leuven) and Sven Francque (Antwerp University/UZ Antwerp) 
2. ​​ Translational science initiative on primary immune deficiencies​
  • Identify novel biomarkers for rare or novel primary immune deficiency diseases (PIDs),
    a heterogeneous group of life-threatening genetic disorders of the innate and
    adaptive immune system
  • VIB PI’s: Bart Lambrecht, Rudi Beyaert, Yvan Saeys & Martin Guilliams from the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research and Adrian Liston from the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research
  • Non-VIB PI’s: Isabelle Meyts, Rik Schrijvers & Xavier Bossuyt From KU Leuven/UZ Leuven
    and Jan Philippé, Elfride de Baere & Filomeen Haerynck from UGent/UZ Gent

3. Pointillism, improving immune checkpoint inhibitor response by single cell integrative multi-omics of the tumor ecosystems

  • Identify novel biomarkers that predict the response to immune checkpoint blockade
    and guide the clinical implementation of effective treatment combinations
  • VIB PI’s: Jean-Christophe Marine, Diether Lambrechts, Gabriele Bergers & Massimiliano Mazzone from the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Cancer Biology
  • Non-VIB PI’s: Thierry Voet (KU Leuven) and Ignace Vergote, Sabine Tejpar, Hans Wildiers, Paul Clement & Olivier Bechter from KU Leuven/UZ Leuven

Via new calls VIB strives to obtain a maximal impact. Last August a next call was launched for additional research projects that could be financed as from 2019.

Translational science initiative on primary immune deficienciesTranslational science initiative on primary immune deficienciesTranslational science initiative on primary immune deficiencies​​

©VIB-Ine Dehandschutter