VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research

Science director: Bart Lambrecht

The aim of the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research (IRC) is to unravel the mechanisms of immunity and inflammation for better prevention and therapy of human chronic disease.

Inflammation is the first response of the immune system to infection or tissue injury, leading to protection of the body against these insults. Chronic inflammation can, however, be a maladaptive response and is at the origin of chronic diseases like asthma and COPD, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, certain forms of cancer, and even atherosclerosis and obesity. These diseases are amongst the most common in Western society and are clearly on the rise, posing a significant public health problem that will put an increasing load on our health expenditure. With an ageing population, it is predicted that inflammatory diseases will consume up to one-third of all health related costs by 2030. A better understanding of the initiation and progression of inflammatory disease is therefore high on the research agenda of many big funding agencies in the EU, US and Japan.  The research of the various IRC units is focused on molecular mechanisms of inflammation in pathologies such as allergy, autoimmune diseases, cancer, infectious diseases and senescence. At the heart of this research is the investigation of inter- and intracellular signaling pathways in innate and adaptive immune cells and barrier cells of the skin, lung and gut. IRC is studying these molecular mechanisms mainly in cellular and animal model systems by using the most advanced methods of molecular biotechnology, cell biology and immunology.

Several high-end core facilities support and improve our research activities: microscopy, 
flow cytometry, transgenesis, cell culture, recombinant protein technology. Moreover, the department is developing novel technology to study and intervene in human diseases more effectively, with the ambition of translating research findings into innovative ways for diagnosis and therapy. Identification and validation of suitable target molecules is therefore a major challenge for the basic research of the department. In principle, an interesting molecule can be analyzed entirely within the IRC, starting at molecular and subcellular levels, going on to cell biology and animal models, and culminating in clinical trials in close collaboration with clinical or industrial partners. This versatility of the IRC is one of its strengths.

The research groups actively collaborate within and outside the IRC to accelerate interdisciplinary discoveries. We aim to translate the acquired basic knowledge into economic value and have created two spin-off companies in the past. Many IRC units are actively involved in strategic international collaborations and alliances with high added value  with academic and industrial partners.

Finally the IRC considers it important to contribute actively to the training of high-quality scientists in biomedical research. We provide an exiting environment for the next generation of scientists. We believe responsible scientific freedom in a good environment is the best motto for scientific breakthrough discoveries.

Bart Lambrecht explains his strategy

VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research

Scientists & research:

  • Rudi Beyaert Lab
    Signal transduction in inflammation and immunity - Cytokine signaling (TNF, IL-1, IL-33) - Toll-like receptor signaling
  • Dirk Elewaut Lab
    rheumatology - molecular immunology - bone metabolism - mucosal immunity - biomechanical stress
  • Martin Guilliams Lab
    macrophage - dendritic cell - Kupffer cell - alveolar macrophage - inflammation
  • Sophie Janssens Lab
    unfolded protein response - dendritic cell - immunity - IRE1 - signal transduction
  • Markus Kleinewietfeld Lab
    CD4+ T cells - autoimmunity - MS - environmental factors - microbiota
  • Bart Lambrecht and Hamida Hammad Lab
    asthma - Th2 lymphocytes - dendritic cells - unfolded protein response - environment
  • Claude Libert Lab
    cytokines and anticancer therapy - MMP - gene mapping and cloning - mouse models of inflammation - TNF
  • Transgenic Mouse Core Lab
    transgenic mice - ES-cells - gene targeting - cryopreservation - IVF
  • Kodi Ravichandran Lab
    apoptosis - phagocytosis - inflammation - engulfment receptors - signaling pathways
  • Yvan Saeys Lab
    systems immunology - flow cytometry bioinformatics - network biology and graph mining - machine learning - biomarker discovery
  • Savvas Savvides Lab
    structural biology - protein-protein complexes - inflammation and immunity - protein engineering - antagonist design
  • Charlotte Scott Lab
    Macrophages, Dendritic cells, Function, Origin, Heterogeneity
  • Jo Van Ginderachter Lab
    myeloid cell heterogeneity and functions - functional genomics - invasion and metastasis - trypanosomes
  • Geert van Loo Lab
    inflammation - NFkappaB - ER stress - autophagy - A20
  • Peter Vandenabeele Lab
    apoptosis and necrosis - caspases - mouse transgenesis - skin differentiation - signal transduction
  • Roos Vandenbroucke Lab
    extracellular vesicles and exosomes - blood-brain (BBB) and blood-cerebrospinal fluid (BCSFB) barrier - gut-brain axis


VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research
UGent-VIB Research Building FSVM Technologiepark 71  9052 GENT BELGIUM
+32 9 331 36 00
+32 9 331 36 09


Click here for an overview of the supporting staff



Hosting: VIB Bioimaging Core

The VIB Bioimaging Core has specialist instrumentation for both light and electron microscopy and are developing Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy (CLEM) approaches to answer complex biological questions. The cores have a diverse instrument base providing the most suitable instrumentation for any imaging need.

The VIB Bioimaging Core is a dual site facility with platforms in Ghent and Leuven and serves both academic and industrial life sciences community. The center for Inflammation Research is hosting the Gentsite. For more information:

VIB Bioimaging Core


Hosting: VIB Protein Core

The VIB Protein Core offers solutions for producing mg amounts of research grade proteins, or to optimize expression vectors and production conditions in different systems. When the pure protein is not the endpoint, also Conjugation of the purified protein is possible. The PSF services include scale up of microbial cultures up to 6 or 20 L, mammalian cell culture up to 12 L, and downstream processing and purification adapted to those scales.

VIB Protein Core

Hosting: VIB Flow Core

The VIB Flow Core provides access to high quality flow cytometry and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). The Core aims to provide highly trained staff and the most modern equipment to all prospective users, in order to facilitate elite research through the use of flow cytometry. Flow Core staff operate and maintain the analytical cytometers and cell sorters, assist researchers in protocol selection and development, train students, post-doctoral fellows and technologists how to operate the analytical cytometers and provide support in data analysis software. The facility also organizes quarterly workshops and seminars to provide continuing education opportunities and to keep users abreast of developing technologies.

VIB Flow Core​