Discover VIB's research areas
Immunity & Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s immediate protective immune response to tissue injury or infection. Researchers at VIB apply molecular cell biology and molecular immunology to study inflammatory diseases. The research of the various labs focuses on molecular and cellular mechanisms of inflammation in pathologies such as asthma and allergy, rheumatoid disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), multiple sclerosis (MS), psoriasis, cancer, sepsis, infectious diseases and physiological settings such as senescence and inflammaging.
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Cancer is a complex set of diseases involving a variety of different cell types, including tumor, endothelial, stromal and immune cells. The behavior of a tumor and its response to specific cancer therapies are difficult to predict. They largely depend on its cellular morphology, tumor metabolism and the genetic and epigenetic changes accumulating in the tumor cells. But they are also influenced by the tumor micro-environment, which consists of, among others, the tumor vasculature and infiltrating immune cells. To advance the understanding of cancer biology and treatment, a multidisciplinary approach is needed. Within VIB, scientists conduct both strategic basic and translational research into cancer.
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Translating basic research findings into drugs is a long process with many steps. Medical biotechnology can both enable new discoveries and speed up the process of turning this new knowledge into usable therapies.
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Today, neurobiology stands at an exciting crossroads. We have the quest to unravel the secrets of the brain and in more detail the anatomical and functional fundamentals of neuronal circuits, the mechanisms of neuronal and neurodegenerative disorders, the nervous system during healthy aging, and in aging-related diseases.
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Unraveling the systems biology of plant growth and development is becoming extremely important to tackle climate change and to accelerate the innovation cycle between lab and field.
Learn more about plant biology research, its success stories, and its value for society
Microorganisms are important model systems for cells of higher organisms (like humans), and many of lifeʻs basic mechanisms were first discovered in unicellular life forms. Research at our center aims to increase our understanding of microbes and their interactions with higher-order organisms and translate this knowledge into environmental, industrial, and medical applications. We study pathogenic microbes to develop new and improved antibiotics to control infectious disease; beneficial microbes and their impacts on digestion and human health; and industrial microbes for their production of fermented foods and beverages like cheese, beer, and wine.
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Proteins and their complexes play critical roles in nearly all cellular functions. Accordingly, dysfunction in their assembly, lifetime, localization, or dynamics is central in many diseases, be it hereditary, sporadic, or infectious.
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Computational biology is an interdisciplinary field that develops and subsequently applies data-analytics and theoretical methods to study complex biological systems and their relationship. To deepen the knowledge, such algorithms are frequently combined with mathematical modeling and computational simulations. These (big) biological data sets can be used to address a wide variety of biological questions, such as identifying disease-causing genes. Computational biology has been used to help sequence the human genome, create accurate models of the human brain, and assist in modeling biological systems.