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Bernard Pirotte, Professor - Marianne Fillet, Professor - Philippe Hubert, Professor - Pierre Francotte, Assistant Professor

ULiège, CIRM - Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium
" The pandemic has highlighted a critical need of local production of essential drugs used in first-line emergency care of COVID-19 patients. The present consortium has developed a dedicated unit to address this need (both organic synthesis and quality control) following strict quality assurance rules observed by the pharmaceutical industry. The pandemic has highlighted a critical need of local production of essential drugs used in first-line emergency care of COVID-19 patients. The present consortium has developed a dedicated unit to address this need (both organic synthesis and quality control) following strict quality assurance rules observed by the pharmaceutical industry. "
Contact: Prof. Marianne FILLET, CIRM Director, University of Liège https://www.cirm.uliege.be This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bernard Rimé

" The Covid-19 outbreak has exposed the world's population to challenging and long-lasting emotional conditions. While investigations of responses to tragic one-off events exist, studies on the evolution of collective emotions during a pandemic are missing. Collecting the time-sensitive data about the population's collective emotional state could improve the planning of mental health interventions and risk-communication. In a first phase, we analyzed the digital traces of emotional expressions on Twitter in the five weeks after the outbreak in 8.3 billion tweets in six different languages from 18 countries. Next, we keep monitoring the evolution of emotional responses with particular attention to lexical indicators of solidarity according to the different phases of the pandemic's evolution, the resumption of activities, and economic and social difficulties in these 18 countries. "
Funding: This is a collaboration with the Complexity Science Hub Vienna (Austria). (These...

Bernardo Innocenti, Professor

" The aim is to develop and validate a numerical model of a human lung to predict its degeneration over time, in order to provide better knowledge and further info for decision-making to the clinician, addressing both the treatment and the follow-up of the patients after the pathology. "
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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...

Brigitte Cay, bioengineer - Benedicte Lambrecht, PhD - Mieke Steensels, PhD - Mieke Tignon, PhD- Steven VanBorm, PhD

Tests &Diagnostics covid-19
" The veterinary laboratories from Sciensano use their expertise, their equipment and their reagents to increase the testing capacity for Covid-19 in collaboration with IBC LAB (Institute of Clinical Biology of ULB). They optimized the extraction method and the CDC RT-PCR method and are able to rapidly adapt any change in the field situation. "
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bruno Dumas, Professor

" Expertise in information visualisation, i.e. the human side of the data science chain: how to explore data visually, how to create meaningful and efficient interactive visual data exploration tools, how to communicate data visually. "
Publication References: 3 most recent ones: -Duhoux, B., Mens, K. and Dumas, B., 2019, July. Implementation of a Feature-Based Context-Oriented Programming Language. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Context-oriented Programming (pp. 9-16). - Bibal, A., Dumas, B. and Frénay, B., 2019, January. User-Based Experiment Guidelines for Measuring Interpretability in Machine Learning. In EGC Workshop on Advances in Interpretable Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. - Clarinval, A., Linden, I., Wallemacq, A. and Dumas, B., 2018, August. Evoq: a Visualization Tool to Support Structural Analysis of Text Documents. In Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Document Engineering 2018 (pp. 1-10).
Contact: Bruno Dumas Namur Digital Institute -...

Carine Truyens, Professor - Sarra Ait Dejbbara, Assistant PhD student - Pascale Deblandre, Technician - Alain Wathelet-Depauw, Technician

" Contribution to the realization of Covid-19 diagnosis by PCR We are involved in the diagnosis of Covid-19 at ULB (Erasmus Campus) by coordinating and contributing to two steps of the flow required to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in swaps. "
Publication References: /
Contact: Carine Truyens Lab of Parasitology - Faculty of Medicine - ULB Erasmus Campus ctruyens#ulb.ac.be

Carine Truyens, Professor - Sarra Ait Djebbara, Assistant PhD student - Pascale Deblandre, Technician

" Developing a platform for systems serology analysis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Sarra Ait Djebbara and Pascale Deblandre are contributing to this project developped by Prof. Arnaud Marchant (IMI - ULB) "
Funding: FNRS
Contact: Lab of Parasitology - Faculty of Medicine - ULB Erasmus Campus

Caroline Daelemans, Professor

"Our objectives are: • To study maternal and neonate COVID-19 information in the Belgian-Obstetric Surveillance System database: clinical presentation and natural history of disease, pregnancy-related basic information, pregnancy outcomes, birth characteristics, infant morbidity and mortality. • To study the core socio-demographic information to potentially identify groups at higher risk of complications • Build a more informative dataset thanks to data mining of public databases This study will enable us to understand the impact of COVID-19 on pregnant women and their offspring in Belgium, and in the world via the contribution to the INOSS multicenter study. It might allow us to define an at-risk population among pregnant women and their offspring, and tailor epidemiologic and clinical interventions for these more vulnerable individuals."
Funding: Pending (FNRS)
Publication References: "1. The International Network of Obstetric Survey Systems study of uterine rupture: a...

Caroline Daelemans, Professor

" COVerT Our aim is to delineate more accurately the prevalence of the infection in the pregnant population and study vertical transmission in the cord blood of babies born to mothers with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Determination of prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in mothers by combined universal screening: presence of antibodies (IgG and IgM or IgA) in their blood and/or a positive RT-PCR in the nasopharyngeal swab. We intend to detect evidence of vertical transmission by the identification of SARS-CoV-2 specific IgM or IgA in cord blood samples. If there is evidence of vertical transmission, the analysis of the consequences depending on infection timing during pregnancy will enable us to guide management more precisely. "
Funding: pending FNRS
Publication References: "1. Delforge ML, Costa E, Brancart F, Goldman D, Montesinos I, Zaytouni S, Marchant A, Donner C Presence of cytomegalovirus in urine and blood of pregnant women with primary infection might be associated...

Caroline Huart, MD, PhD - Bernard Hanseeuw, MD, PhD - Valérie Hox, MD, PhD - Pascal Kienlen-Campard, PhD- Vincent Van Pesch, MD, PhD

UCLouvain and Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc - FNRS
" Anosmia has been reported to be a major symptom of COVID-19. Since high viral loads are found in the nasal cavity of patients and since single-cell analyses found that olfactory sustentacular and stem cells highly express ACE2 and TMPRSS2, it is suspected that cells of the olfactory neuroepithelium are a preferred target of the virus. Some COVID-19 patients present with neurological symptoms. Interestingly, it has been reported that the former SARS-CoV, can ascend intracranially, possibly via the olfactory nerves. Since olfactory receptor neurons form a direct connection between the nasal cavity and the brain, we hypothesize that these cells act as a gateway towards the brain in some patients. The main aims of the projects are (1) to investigate the pathophysiology of COVID-related olfactory dysfunction and (2) to investigate whether olfactory receptor neurons could be the entry site of SARS-CoV2 to the brain. "

Cathy Clerbaux, Professor

" Lockdowns around the world have resulted in factories shutting, less commercial activity and fewer cars on the road and planes in the sky - reducing emissions to unprecedented low levels. Satellite data for monitoring atmospheric changes can track the drop in pollutants and make a first guess on that of climate gases. It is the largest ever 'global air pollution experiment'. "
Funding: ERC-advanced IASI-FT project
Publication References: https://iasi-ft.eu/covid-19/ https://erc.europa.eu/news-events/magazine/erc-researchers-explore-lockdown-life
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cécile Delens, Professor - Pierre Van Luchene, PhD Student - Fanny Detemmerman, PhD Student

" Confinement constitutes a particular life event involving multiple adaptations in daily life. The purposes of this study are (1) to analyze how adults manage these modifications concerning the possible practice of physical activities, (2) to better understand the changes in the practice of physical activities as a lifelong health behavior in adults. The principal models used are the Health action process approach model (Schwarzer, 2008), health literacy and the social support theory. 272 adults completed a questionnaire about their PA before and during confinement. Respondents who agreed to be contacted will complete a post-containment survey to evaluate the persistence of the modifications in term of adoption of APS as a health behavior "
Funding: In process
Contact: IACCHOS (Girsef) - FSM Cécile Delens Place Pierre de Coubertin, 1 bte L8.10.01 - 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Brussels & Wallonia against COVID19