The ULB Neuroscience Institute has been launched on May 2013 thanks to the financial support of notably the Fondation ULB.
Pr. MD. Pierre Vanderhaeghen is the Head of the ULB Neuroscience Institute, to know more about him and his laboratory
The cerebral cortex is one of the most complex and important structures in our brain. In correlation with its elaborate functions, it is characterized by a huge diversity of neuronal identities, each cortical neuron displaying specific patterns of gene expression and synaptic connectivity. The mechanisms of formation of cortical networks have direct relevance to several diseases, such as epilepsy, autism, and mental disorders, as well as for the development of rationally designed cell therapies for neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke.
The ULB Neuroscience Institute
1. Overview of the Ulb Neuroscience Institute (UNI).
The Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) has a long standing tradition of excellence in biomedical research. With increasing competition at both European and non-European levels, it has become clear that ULB has to move forward in diversifying its means to maintain and develop excellence further, based on a approach that puts emphasis on (1) focus, and (2) critical mass. In this frame ULB has identified a few disciplines that were chosen because they already constitute an attractive critical mass of excellence, and Neuroscience is one of them. Neuroscience was thought to be particularly attractive also because of its intrinsic interdisciplinary nature, thus bridging together researchers from very different horizons, from molecular neurobiologists to cognitive scientists and neuroclinicians.
ULB aims at affirming neuroscience research as one of its primary poles, through the creation of a unifying structure, a ULB Neuroscience Institute (UNI), which enables to bring together and build up synergies between all ULB brain / cognition scientists from the Medical School, the Engineering School, the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Psychological Sciences, and the Faculty of Mobility Sciences.
The ULB Institute of Neuroscience aims at:
• generating a critical mass of human resources and advanced technology through dynamic recruitment strategies;
• establishing new synergies between neuroresearchers from different backgrounds;
The UNI supports specific interdisciplinary programs or research focusing on brain development, degeneration, and repair. In this frame it will also aim at the recruitment of young promising Group Leaders, recruited from abroad (outside of ULB), who will build their own new laboratory, thus expanding in a coordinated fashion the skills and scientific strength of ULB Neuroscience Community. These new laboratories will undertake specific research activities along new lines of exploration of brain circuits formation and function, and will create new synergies with existing teams.
The assets of ULB: at the forefront in diverse areas of brain research.
The brain: a major challenge for science, medicine, and society.
Tackling the multiple levels of brain complexity through multidisciplinary approaches.
Two main research areas: brain development and neurodegeneration/brain repair.
Taking into account both the current existing strengths at ULB, and the emerging themes in today’s neurosciences, two major research areas will be emphasized specifically in the frame of the Chair: (1) the mechanisms of brain development, in particular of higher cognitive functions, and (2) new approaches to neurodegeneration, including brain repair.
Brain development and acquisition of higher cognitive functions.
Research on neurodegenerative diseases: developing human cellular models of brain diseases and testing brain repair using pluripotent stem cell technology
To discover the many ULB laboratories involved in the ULB Neuroscience Institute