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Gilles Darcis, FNRS Post-doctorate Clinical Master Specialist

ULiège, CHU - FNRS
" We aim to compare various diagnostic tools (swabs, saliva, serology, antigen detection) in order to define the best one depending on the clinical presentation and the duration of the disease. "
Funding: Fonds Léon Fredericq FNRS
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gilles Darcis, FNRS Post-doctorate Clinical Master Specialist

ULiège, CHU - FNRS
" We aim to define the clinical characteristics associated with the production and the level of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) in COVID19 recovered patients. In particular, we will investigate whether the development of a strong and persistent humoral immune response takes place in severely affected, individuals with mild symptoms or asymptomatic individuals. We will also study the study the persistence of NAbs overtime. "
Funding: Fonds Léon Frédéricq FNRS
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gilles Parzibut, Doctor

ULiège, CHU
" La recherche de biomarqueurs fiables, sensibles et peu invasifs est un enjeu de premier ordre pour la médecine moderne. En effet, ces biomarqueurs ont le potentiel de transformer la prise en charge médicale en améliorant le dépistage et le diagnostic, mais aussi en permettant de mieux appréhender la physiopathologie d'une pathologie ou sa réponse à un traitement donné. Fort de nos travaux précédents, nous proposons de réaliser une étude prospective sur une population adulte souffrant d'un SDRA modéré à sévère post SARS-COV2 afin de caractériser une signature exosomique plasmatique propre à cette population. "
Funding: FLF FIRS CHU de Liège
Publication References: hankar-Hari, M., Fan, E. & Ferguson, N. D. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) phenotyping. Intensive Care Med. (2018). 45;(4): 516-519. Thompson BT, Chambers RC, Liu KD. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2017;377(6):562–72. Johnstone RM, Adam M, Hammond JR, Orr L, Turbide C. Vesicle...

Glenn Magerman, Professor - Mathias Dewatripont, Professor - Bram De Rock, Professor

" Learning from the curve is a voluntary and open source research project on COVID-19 and economics. It is a joint initiative of researchers in economics at ECARES, Solvay, ULB. Our mission is to provide detailed and real-time information and visualizations on COVID-19 and economics for the general public and the press, to serve as a platform for research collaboration on these topics, to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the economic tissue of countries and regions, to provide policy recommendations based on scientific arguments supported by data analytics. Learning from the curve started as a voluntary effort of faculty and students in empirical economics at ECARES. We are also very grateful for funding from the Special COVID-19 ULB grant. None of this would be possible without either. We call data from various sources, which are referenced in the respective dashboards and articles. We provide data sources and code on our Github organization. All publicly available data, code...

Greet Kerckhofs, Professor

" According to current guidelines from several health organization, the use of (homemade) textile face masks is recommended in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19. Currently, however, guidelines are very limited regarding the textiles to use (for the envelope), and the best suited filter material to be used in these types of masks. The general goal of this project is to provide reliable, consistent and science-based recommendations and guidelines about the preferred design for (homemade) textile face masks, as well as about the preferred materials to use for the textile envelope and the filter material. We will first determine the microstructure of different materials, giving us information on the filter efficiency (mechanical) and breathability of different materials and masks. Then, we will investigate the variability in filter efficiency and breathability of different material combinations. Finally, we will assess the aging of the filter material under humid...

Grégoire Lits, Professor - Louise-Amélie Cougnon, Doctor - Alexandre Heeren, FNRS Research Associate - Bernard Hanseeuw, Professor

UCLouvain - FNRS
" Our interdisciplinary project (communication science, psychology, medical science) aims at measuring the evolution of the Covid-19 infodemic in Belgium through quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews. One work package of the project focus on French-speaking Belgium only (three waves survey, interviews). Another work package covers all Belgium (two waves survey) as part of an international comparison project in 8 countries. "
Funding: None at the moment.

Publication References : ORM Research report (May 2020) : Analyse de « l’infodémie » de Covid-19 en Belgique francophone URL : https://osf.io/preprints/socarxiv/wsuj3/
Contact : Grégoire Lits, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. https://uclouvain.be/fr/instituts-recherche/ilc/ilc-covid-19.html

Gregory Ponthiere, Professor

" This research project aims at studying the conditions under which the modern welfare state could build a kind of epidemics insurance, while paying a particular attention to the issue of fairness. The global objective of saving lives may be associated to policies that have undesirable distributive effects, against ideals of social justice. The project aims at finding ways to make mass prevention and equity compatible. "
Funding: This project will be part of my research load at UCLouvain, within the Hoover Chair in Economic ans Social Ethics.
Publication References: Fleurbaey, M., Ponthiere, G. (2013). Prevention against Equality ? Journal of Public Economics. Fleurbaey, M., Leroux, ML, Ponthiere, G. (2014). Compensating the dead. Journal of Mathematical Economics. Fleurbaey, M., Leroux, ML., Pestieau, P., Ponthiere G. (2016). Fair retirement under risk lifetime. International Economic Review. Leroux, ML., Ponthiere, G. (2018). Working time regulations, unequal lifetime and...

Guy Jerusalem, Professor

CHU Liege/ULiège
" La nouvelle pandémie COVID-19 modifie la prise en charge des patients oncologiques. Le premier objectif de notre projet est d'étudier la sécurité de la poursuite des traitements systémiques anti-tumoraux dans le contexte actuel de pandémie. Le deuxième objectif est de comprendre les inquiétudes et les ressentis de nos patients par rapport au risque d'attraper l'infection et leurs conséquences. Le troisième objectif est d'évaluer le taux d'infection et de séroconversion asymptomatique chez nos patients en comparaison à la population globale. Le quatrième objectif est de mieux comprendre les raisons de détresse du personnel soignant en oncologie afin de mieux organiser des mesures de soutien psychologique. "
Funding: Fondation Leon Frederic Fonds propres Oncologie Médicale
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Haruko Takeda, Senior Scientist

Development of rapid and reliable alternative diagnostics for wide-scale COVID-19 testing. " Wide-scale implementation of rapid, reliable, low-cost diagnostic tests would help epidemic containment and mitigation strategies. The current gold standard in COVID-19 diagnostics employs quantitative reverse transcription (qRT) PCR which through cyclic reactions at different temperatures detects segments of the SARS-CoV-2 genome from RNA extracts from nasopharyngeal swabs. Though reliable, this procedure requires special sampling devices, purification of RNA, qualified personnel, sophisticated equipment, and a six hour turnaround time to result. By leveraging on university expert capacities such as molecular biology and protein science, our team has performed a series of controlled experiments to assess the specificity and sensitivity of loop- mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)- and recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA)-based tests in comparison with the qRT-PCR procedure...

Henri-François Renard, Professor - Pierre Morsomme, Professor

UNamur and UCLouvain
" The project will aim at deciphering the molecular mechanisms of coronavirus endocytosis. Although Covid-19 and SARS are known to bind to ACE2 receptor at the surface of various epithelial cells, little is known about the molecular details of the endocytic mechanism of these viruses. One of our hypotheses is that the Spike protein of beta-coronaviruses are able to interact with glycosylated molecules at cell surface (lipids, proteins), induce a clustering mechanism and deformation of cell membrane for endocytosis. This mechanism could be similar to the previously described endocytic mechanism of other lectins (mammalian galectins, bacterial lectins such as Shiga toxin,...), as Spike proteins often contain a galectin-fold. The project has three objectives: 1°) Explore the ability of Covid-19 and other beta-coronaviruses to bind sugars; 2°) Explore the ability of coronaviruses' Spike proteins to induce receptor clustering at the host cell surface and endocytic...

Hugues Bultot, CEO

" The current COVID19 pandemic has imposed in a few months a global burden on humanity. A vaccine is urgently needed to protect people, communities, healthcare systems, and economies. In this context, Univercells joined forces with Reithera and Leukocare to develop and manufacture a novel adenovirus-based vaccine against COVID19. This vaccine candidate is expected to enter in clinical trials during summer 2020 and production to start soon after. Capitalizing on the bioproduction technologies of its newly created subsidiary Univercells Technologies, Univercells will produce at large-scale the vaccine candidate in Jumet. This site with 15,000 m² GMP capabilities offers the capacity to be ready for rapid response programs. Approximately 6 million doses are expected to be available in early 2021. The intention with these doses will be to vaccinate the most exposed people such as medical and healthcare professionals and highly vulnerable individuals. "
Publication References...

Hugues Guyot, Professor

" The aim of the project is to test the sensitivity and specificity of canine olfactory detection of SARS-CoV-2 on axillary sweat samples from either negative patients or from patients recognized as positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR. Dog training is underway and no results are available at this time. This study is organized according to a protocol equivalent to the NOSAÏS project (Pr. Dominique Grandjean, ENVA, France) and will be carried out in collaboration with it. Preliminary results of the NOSAÏS project are expected before starting the collaboration of cynotechnic teams from rescue areas (firefighters and/or civil protection and/or police. In this second stage, specific training of dogs is essential and need the participation of specialized firms. The detection of people contaminated with SARS-CoV-2 by tracking dogs can be of interest: - to identify people affected asymptomatically in public spaces, such as an airport; - as part of an intervention, to ensure a "pre-screening"...

Isabelle Demeestere, FNRS Research Associate

" - I use my expertise in clinical research to set up and coordinate the reception/labeling and encoding station at the COVID diagnostic platform at ULB - As new president of the BSRM, I coordinate the writing and diffusion o recommendations for the reproductive centers in Belgium regarding COVID-19 pandemic "
Contact: https://actus.ulb.be/fr/actus/recherche/tests-de-diagnostic-covid-19-plus-de-250-chercheurs-mobilises BSRM website (https://bsrm.be)
Comment: My role as president of the BSRM to manage the COVID-19 crisis and my participation as coordinator at the COVID diagnostic platform (ULB) are completely independent.

Isabelle Lambotte - Harmony Dussart - Sandrine Deplus - Isabelle Duret - Jessica Frippiat - Marianne Rotsaert - Julien Tiete - Claire Van Pevenage

Hôpital Universitaire des Enfants Reine Fabiola/HUDERF - CHU Bruxelles - ULB
" Children's mental health in Belgium during the Covid19 crisis
Abstract The impact of the Covid-19 crisis on children's emotional wellbeing: a comparative mixed-mode study between a group of children with at least one parent employed by a hospital and two other groups of children whose parents do not work for a hospital (one group whose parents are teleworking and another group whose parents are working in a setting that isn't a hospital setting). This study will be carried out by the psychology teams of the Huderf and the Hôpital Erasme in partnership with the child psychiatry department and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Background: In the Covid-19 pandemic context, concerns regarding physical health have naturally taken precedence over concerns regarding mental health. However, in the past, studies have shown that, in case of natural disasters, there is an increase in depressive symptoms...

Isabelle Lambotte, Psychologist, PhD - Mouna Al Husni, Doctor - Sandrine Deplus, Psychologist, PhD - Simone Marchini, Doctor- Joana Reis, Doctor - Anthony Deleeuw, Doctor - Véronique Delvenne, Professor

ULB Huderf
" Children's mental health in Belgium during the Covid19 crisis. Study of the child psychiatry department of the Queen Fabiola Children's University Hospital (Huderf, ULB). Background: In the covid19 pandemic context, physical health has taken the precedence over mental health while it is documented that, in case of natural disaster, depression symptoms, substance abuse, post-traumatic symptoms and domestic violence increase into the general population (e.g., Bland, O'Leary, Farinaro et al., 1996). The security measures to protect the population against covid19 contamination have changed our everyday life: physical distance or "social distance" modifies social relationships (Yip & Chau, 2020). The effect of these measures on children and adults can still not be estimated. Indeed, the anxious climate, maintained among other things by the media, has also a serious impact on the general population's mental health. In Belgium, a first study has showed that, in the...

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Brussels & Wallonia against COVID19