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Research Center

Anne Van den Broeke, Doctor

Institut Jules Bordet
" Contribution to the application and implementation of a novel Covid-19 diagnostic testing method developed at the GIGA/FARAH academic research institutes. Starting with a handful academic scientists from different disciplines, we established a Covid diagnostic lab with the goal of increasing the testing capacity in Belgium during the heaviest period of the crisis. The lab was entirely and exclusively build by training academic volunteers dedicating their time and energy to a joint effort to "beat the virus". Today the lab has a testing capacity of > 3000 samples/day, 7days/7. The diagnostic lab contributed - and still contributes - to the federal Testing Task Force as one of the five partners involved in screening nursing homes and more recently "centres de triage". We believe extensive testing may be critical to assist and better understand the nascent "deconfinement". Making available our expertise in virus-associated diseases accumulated over years of...

Anne-Catherine Dubois, Infirmière pédiatrique et Doctorante en Santé Publique - Maëlle Boland, psychologue et chercheuse

Institut de Recherche Santé et Société (IRSS), UCLouvain
" In this period of confinement, the daily life of any parent who has to combine professional life and coordination of family life at home requires a whole reorganization. This reality is more intense when a parent accompanies a child with a serious illness or with a disability. The beginning of confinement rhymed with the end of the respite periods for these numerous families, since most of the institutions active in "Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles" cannot currently fully fulfill their mission or offer their home help services as they usually do. We hear it through the media, these parents are calling for help. A small group of pediatric professionals, experienced in respite care, is at the initiative of this approach: Répit-Solidaire, a platform intended for parents of sick or disabled children in French-speaking Belgium. It comes in the form of a website and a Facebook group. The main objectives are to provide information on...

Bertrand Moinet, CEO - Nathalie Gillard, Dr - Eric Fichant, Dr - Patrice Filée, Dr - Jean-Noel Degeye, Ir

CER Groupe
" "As Approved Research Centre in life sciences, the CER Groupe was requested several times to participate in the action plan against Coronavirus. Among the actions taken, we can point out : • The setting up of an operational structure, qualified to carry out PCR covid-19 tests to assist local hospitals in the lockdown ending and tracing phase ; • Involvement in a Belgian consortium to develop an ELISA quantitative serological test to supplement the PCR analytical capacity and secure the lockdown ending phase ; • implementation of antibody bioproduction for therapeutic/diagnostic use. Finally, let us point out that all of these actions were possible thanks to the involvement and synergy of the CERg various operating units. - development of an ELISA quantitative serological test : design, production and characterization of antigens; design/validation of the ELISA test; production of ELISA kits - production of antibodies in various species (lamas, hens, rabbits, pigs, goats...

Birgit Quinting, PhD, teacher HELMo - Marine Joris, PhD, Research Fellow, CRIG - Florence Mahy, PhD, teacher HELMo- Frédéric Oprenyeszk, PhD, Research fellow, CRIG - Olivier Jacquemin, MTL student, Master thesis - Sylvie Bodart, Lab technician , HELMo

CRIG, research center of HELMo (Haute école libre mosane)
" As the COVID-19 pandemic still progresses every day, time is running out to find solutions. It is therefore in everyone's interest that the active forces work together. It is in this spirit that HELMo and its Centre of Research CRIG made their experts available. A team of teachers from the Medical Laboratory Technologist curriculum reinforced by researchers of the CRIG contributes to enhance the capacity of direct testing, by assessing a new q-PCR diagnostic method developed by Dr. N. Gillet’s team (UNamur). UNamur provided the diagnosis protocol to HELMo consisting in two main steps: first, the inactivation and extraction of genetic material from the sample (smears taken from the nose and throat), and second, the identification of SARS-Cov-2 virus-specific gene by qPCR. However, the "Trizol" reagent - used for the extraction of genetic material - could quickly become a limiting reagent, as it is used by all diagnostic...

Damien Simonneau, Postdoc researcher

" The pandemic is questioning the evolution of multilateralism with an a priori return of States as first line manager. However, paradoxically the need for a coordinated approach both at the global (UN) and European levels appears crucial. We monitor multilateral regulations in border management and control of mobility during and after the pandemic. "
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Daniel Desmecht, Professor - Mutien Garigliany, Professor

FARAH - ULiège 
" We are describing the evolution of the respiratory function after infection using whole-body plethysmography in a hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. Although the tropism of the virus for the upper respiratory tract is well documented, little is known about the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in the impairment of the respiratory function and the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in some patients. There is a critical need for the development of noninvasive evaluation tools of the respiratory function over the disease course in order to develop therapeutic strategies aiming at specifically improving this function. Plethysmography is a noninvasive method allowing the quantitative evaluation of the lung volume and function. The selected plethysmographic parameters will allow a noninvasive monitoring of the lung function and lesions in the hamster model, permitting the screening of therapeutic molecules aiming at alleviating the...

Daniel Desmecht, Professor - Mutien Garigliany, Professor

FARAH - ULiège 
" We recently showed that domestic cats can be spontaneously infected by SARS-CoV-2 and develop transient, yet severe, pneumonia. Similar reports in other countries confirmed the susceptibility of cats, ferrets, lions and tigers to the infection. Dogs can get infected but, apparenlty, subclinically. Beside the importance of these findings for veterinarians and animal health, a series of domestic or wild animal species might constitute a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 and dramatically complicate the "uncontainment" process. Domestic cats, minks, ferrets, hamsters, dogs, tigers and lions were all shown to be naturally or (for some species) experimentally susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, cats, minks, ferrets and hamsters were shown to be able to efficiently transmit the virus to in-contact animals. Little is known about the actual host range of the virus. It is critically needed to determine which domestic, peri-domestic (especially rodents) and wild animals can...

François Fuks, Full Professor

Laboratory of Cancer Epigenetics, ULB, Faculty of Medicine - Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium
" In recent years epigenetics has become an essential component of biological research, playing key roles in many physiopathological conditions. Recent work in viral epigenetics highlighted these modifications as an essential mechanism in modulating many viruses life cycles. To date, whether this holds true also for SARS-CoV-2 remains unknown, let alone the potential use of epigenetics inhibitors as novel antiviral therapy against SARS-CoV-2. • To address these unanswered questions and to respond to the current international urge of new therapeutic approaches against COVID-19, our study, which would uncover a link between epigenetics and SARS-CoV-2, aim to provide innovative advances for SARS-CoV-2 biology and therapy: • Overall, we will generate a comprehensive dataset aiming at expanding further our understanding of the biological functions of epigenetic modifications in the SARS-CoV-2...

François JOURET, Professeur - Pierre Delanaye, Professeur - Jean-Marie Krzesinski, Professeur Ordinaire

ULiège - FNRS
" L'atteinte rénale semble fréquente et précoce dans la COVID-19. Sa physiopathologie est inconnue. Le but de cette étude est de caractériser cette néphropathie nouvelle causée par le SRAS-Cov-2. Nous réalisons une biopsie rénale post mortem chez tout patient décédé dans le cadre d'une infection COVID-19 en salle d'hospitalisation ou aux soins intensifs (SI). L'étude se focalise sur la corrélation anatomo-clinique. L'étude histologique inclut (i) une description conventionnelle des compartiments glomérulaire, tubulaire et interstitiel ; (ii) une détection immuno-histochimique des antigènes viraux du SRAS-Cov-2 et leur distribution préférentielle dans chaque segment du néphron ; (iii) une caractérisation de l'infiltrat inflammatoire éventuel ; et (iv) une microscopie électronique. "
Funding: Fondation Léon Frédéricq ULiège (21.600 euros) FNRS (en attente) Société Francophone de Néphrologie (en attente)
Contact: Pr dr François JOURET Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de...

Frederic BOSCHINI, R&D Powder Manager GREEnMat

ULiège - GREEnMat laboratory
" Development of a new and fast method for the production of magnetic nanobeads for virus RNA extraction for performing PCR test. We produced more the 500,000 doses for federal testing center and our product has been widly used in Belgium and out of our borders. We aslo develop a method for producing high quantities of lysis buffer, guanidine thiocyanate (hundred liters/week), to release RNA from the virus and allow extraction. "
Contact: Dr BOSCHINI Frédéric Laboratoire GREEnMat University of Liège This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0032-4-366-35-32

Frédéric Dierick, Dr - Nicolas Velings, Dr

Haute École Louvain en Hainaut (HELHa) - CeREF
" The aim of the Interreg FWVl project called "NOMADe" (https://nomadeproject.eu) is to develop an ecosystem for e-learning and research & developement in the field of neuro-musculo-skeletal disorders (NMSD). By essence, NOMADe has a strong interest in online and sensor-based developments of physiotherapy. It is the reason why we have recently written an opinion paper about the relevance of telerehabilitation for the care of NMSD. This topic has become particularly important because of covid-19 isolation period. Physiotherapists have indeed been forced to stop usual consultations and the need for alternatives has become obvious. Our opinion paper is based on a review of the literature and promotes the use of telerehabilitation by identifying the situations in which it is efficient. It has been cited in the opinion paper of the "Conseil Fédéral de la Kinésithérapie" / "Federale Raad voor de Kinesitherapie" regarding a phased approach to...

Jérôme Schruyers, Researcher - Alexandre Léonard, Research logistician - Carlos Mendoza, Postdoc - Cédric Wolfs, PhD student- Vaios Stergiopoulos, Postdoc - Stéphanie Lambert, FNRS Senior Research Associate, Deputy Associate Professor - Fabien Deschamps,

Chemical Engineering ULiège & CRM Group - FNRS
" The Chemical Engineering Department of the Faculty of Applied Sciences of the University of Liège has been producing protective visors by 3D printing since April 4 and provides various hospital services (CHU, Citadelle, Bois de l'Abbaye), rest homes, associations and health care practices. A team of members of the Department has been set up to ensure 24-hour production, which means that up to 90 visors can now be produced per day depending on demand. As the days go by, production optimization continues to lighten components, produce faster and reduce the amount of raw material needed. The Department also receives visor supports produced by 3D printing by people from the Metallurgical Research Centre (CRM), a privileged partner of the Faculty, in order to equip them with plastic sheets to produce visors. This equipment is then distributed with the rest of the production from Chemical Engineering. The milestone of 1000 visors...

Laurence Delacroix, Dr. - Marielle Lebrun, Dr. - Catherine Sadzot, Pr.

ULiège, GIGA-Research
" Development of specific antigens to allow the detection of circulating antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Our aim is to contribute to the development of serological tests that could help identifying the people previously infected by SARS-CoV-2 and detect the presence of neutralizing antibodies, which would predict an individual protection against COVID-19. With the help of local renowned companies, we are currently testing various antigens and optimizing their production. "
Contact: Dr. Laurence Delacroix (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Neurodevelopmental Biology, GIGA-Neurosciences and GIGA-Stem Cells, 15 avenue Hippocrate, CHU-B36, B-4000 Liège). Dr. Marielle Lebrun (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Pr. Catherine Sadzot (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), laboratory of Immunology and Virology, GIGA-I3, 11 Avenue de l'hôpital, 4000 Liège.

Marielle WEYLAND, Speech Therapist, PhD Student.

ULB (centre ACTE) et Fondation SUSA Mons
Confinement lié au Covid-19 : le vécu de la famille et de l'enfant avec autisme." For almost two months, Belgian families have been confined at home because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This lockdown dramatically changed the daily life of families, especially those living with an autistic child, because social life and relationships are at the very heart of the autistic functioning. In some cases, changing daily habits and routines, closing of schools, stopping interventions and outdoor activities led to an increase of behavioral disorders and significantly impaired the quality of life of autistic people and their family. But, on the other hand, some families report an improvement of their child’s behavior, potentially due to a decrease of usual social demands. In order to understand how families with an autistic child dealt during this lockdown period, we conducted an on-line survey. To date, more than 250 French-speaking Belgian families...

Michel FREDERICH, Professor - Allison LEDOUX, Doctor - Mutien GARIGLIANY, Professor

" Several natural products (i.e. lycorine, glycyrrhizine, extracts of Pelargonium, Echinacea, Sambucus,...) have shown activity against coronaviruses. Several plants have been used in Chinese Medicine to treat patients with COVID-19. The objective of this project is to evaluate several natural products against SARS-COV2 in vitro and confirm their potential for further development. "
Funding: Own funding.
Contact: Prof Michel FREDERICH https://www.cirm.uliege.be This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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B - 1000 Bruxelles

Tél : +32 2 504 92 11


Brussels & Wallonia against COVID19