Scientific papers

In accordance with its mission to support high level research in Belgium, the University Foundation provides financial support towards the publication in high level international journals of scientific papers which report on research in Belgian research groups. Financial support may be granted to partially cover the costs due by the author for illustrations, for page charges and for article processing fees, and for linguuistic control. 

Because the possible support is restricted to Belgian research groups, the regulations and application procedures are only available in French  and in Dutch.

Articles subsidized by the University Foundation

What follows is a list of articles that were subsidized recently by the University Foundation. The titles are ordered by year of publication and by title.

Francis COMBES et al.

Combes, F. et al. (2018) Off-Target and Tumor-Specific Accumulation of Monocytes, Macrophages and Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells after Systemic Injection.  Neoplasia vol 20 (8) pp. 848-856.

Solid tumors frequently coexist with a degree of local chronic inflammation. Recruited myeloid cells can therefore be considered as interesting vehicles for tumor-targeted delivery of therapeutic agents. Using in vivo imaging, the short-term accumulation of systemically injected  monocytes, macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) was compared in mice bearing fat pad mammary carcinomas.

Jorrit De Waele et al.

Dewaele, J. et al.  (2018) Poly(I:C) primes primary human glioblastoma cells for an immune response invigorated by PD-L1 blockade. OncoImmunology, vol. 7 no 3.

Prognosis of glioblastoma remains dismal, underscoring the need for novel therapies. Immunotherapy is generating promising results, but requires combination strategies to unlock its full potential. We investigated the immunomodulatory capacities of poly(I:C) on primary human glioblastoma cells and its combinatorial potential with programmed death ligand (PD-L) blockade. In our experiments, poly(I:C) stimulated expression of both PD-L1 and PD-L2 on glioblastoma cells, and a pro-inflammatory secretome, including type I interferons (IFN) and chemokines CXCL9, CXCL10, CCL4 and CCL5.

Sisi Li, Chang Zhu, Shasha Li

Li S, Zhu C, Li S (2018) Student researchers’ perceived prerequisites for voluntary research collaboration in the context of Flemish and Chinese universities. PLoS ONE 13(5): e0197960.

While numerous papers have illuminated the worthiness of research collaboration, relatively few have addressed its prerequisites. In our study, seven prerequisites for research collaboration were extracted from the existing literature, and 460 student researchers were surveyed for their perceptions of the prerequisites’ importance.

S. Collin et al.

Collin, S. (2018) Submerging a Biomimetic Metallo-Receptor in Water for Anion Recognition: Micellar Incorporation or Water Solubilization? A Case Study. Chem.Eur. J. vol. 24, pp. 17964-17974.

Molecular recognition in water is an important topic, but a challenging task due to the very competitive nature of the medium. The focus of this study is the comparison of two different strategies for the water solubilization of a biomimetic metallo‐receptor based on a poly(imidazole) resorcinarene core. The first relies on a new synthetic path for the introduction of hydrophilic substituents on the receptor, at a remote distance from the coordination site.

C. B. Calderon et al.

Calderon, C.B. et al. (2018) Task-Relevant Information Modulates Primary Motor Cortex Activity Before Movement Onset.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience,Volume 12, Article 93.

Monkey neurophysiology research supports the affordance competition hypothesis (ACH) proposing that cognitive information useful for action selection is integrated in sensorimotor areas. In this view, action selection would emerge from the simultaneous representation of competing action plans, in parallel biased by relevant task factors.
Charlotte Descamps, Muriel Quinet, Aurélie Baijot & Anne-Laure Jacquemart

Descamps, C. et al. (2018) Temperature and water stress affect plant–pollinator interactions in Borago officinalis (Boraginaceae).Ecology and Evolution, vol. 8, 3443 –3456.

Climate change alters the abiotic constraints faced by plants, including increasing temperature and water stress. These changes may affect flower evelopment and production of flower rewards, thus altering plant–pollinator interactions. Here, we investigated the consequences of increased temperature and water stress on plant growth, floral biology, flower-reward production, and insect visitation of a widespread bee-visited species, Borago officin alis. Plants were grown for 5 weeks under three temperature regimes (21, 24, and 27°C) and two watering regimes (well-watered and water-stressed).

Rosanne Reitsema et al.

Reitseman R.E. et al. (2018) The Future of Freshwater Macrophytes in a Changing World: Dissolved Organic Carbon Quantity and Quality and Its Interactions With MacrophytesFrontiers in Plant Science, Functional Plant Ecology, May 2018.

Kevin Van Sundert et al.

Van Sundert, K. et  al. (2018) The influence of soil properties and nutrients on conifer forest growth in Sweden, and the first steps in developing a nutrient availability metric.  Biogeosciences, 15, 3475–3496, 2018,

The availability of nutrients is one of the factors that regulate terrestrial carbon cycling and modify ecosystem responses to environmental changes. Nonetheless, nutrient availability is often overlooked in climate–carbon cycle studies because it depends on the interplay of various soil factors that would ideally be comprised into metrics applicable at large spatial scales. Such metrics do not currently exist.

Susan DIERICKX et al.

Dierickx S. et al. (2018) ‘I am always crying on the inside’: a qualitative study on the implications of infertility on women’s lives in urban Gambia. Reproductive Health 15:151,

Background: There is an increasing awareness that infertility in Sub-Saharan Africa constitutes a severe social and public health problem. Few of the existing studies on infertility explicitly take into account the differences between women. However, how women experience infertility is formed by their various social positions. This research explores the implications of infertility on women’s lives in urban Gambia and aims to provide an in-depth understanding of how this relates to gender and cultural norms as well as different social positions.
Alen Tosenberger, Didier Gonze, Sylvain Bessonnard, Michel Cohen-Tannoudji, Claire Chazaud & Geneviève Dupont

Tosenberger, A. et al.  (2017) A multiscale model of early cell lineage specification including cell division, npj Systems Biology and Applications (2017) 3:16 ; doi:10.1038/s41540-017-0017-0.

Embryonic development is a self-organised process during which cells divide, interact, change fate according to a complex gene regulatory network and organise themselves in a three-dimensional space. Here, we model this complex dynamic phenomenon in the context of the acquisition of epiblast and primitive endoderm identities within the inner cell mass of the preimplantation embryo in the mouse. The multiscale model describes cell division and interactions between cells, as well as biochemical reactions inside each individual cell and in the extracellular matrix.

Isabelle Houbracken & Luc Bouwens

Houbracken, I. and Bouwens, L. (2017) Acinar cells in the neonatal pancreas grow by self-duplication and not by neogenesis from duct cellsScientific Reports 7, Article number: 12643. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-12721-9.

Pancreatic acinar cells secrete digestive enzymes necessary for nutrient digestion in the intestine. They are considered the initiating cell type of pancreatic cancer and are endowed with differentiation plasticity that has been harnessed to regenerate endocrine beta cells. However, there is still uncertainty about the mechanisms of acinar cell formation during the dynamic period of early postnatal development.

Joery GOOSSENS et al.

Goossens, J. et al (2017) EEG dominant frequency peak differentiates between Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease vol. 55 pp. 53-58.

We investigated the power of EEG as biomarker in differential diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). EEG was recorded from 106 patients with AD or FTLD, of which 37 had a definite diagnosis, and 40 controls. Dominant frequency peaks were extracted for all 19 channels, for each subject. The average frequency of the largest dominant frequency peaks (maxpeak) was significantly lower in AD than FTLD patients and controls. Based on ROC analysis, classification could be made with diagnostic accuracy of 78.9%.

Anne Fromont et al.

Fromont, A. et al.  (2017) Exploring the validity of scores from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) in Burundi: A multi-strategy approach.  Journal of Psychology in Africa, Vol. 27, no.4, pp. 316-324.

The present study aimed to validate the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) in Burundi, through a multi-strategy approach used in cross-cultural studies. Respondents were 906 health workers (men =56%; caregivers 60%). They responded to a bilingual version of RSES. We utilized Confirmatory Factorial Analysis (CFA) with structural equation modelling and a back translation test to explore the structure of the RSES and the reliability of scores from the scale.

Sabine Rudischhauser

Rudischhauser, S. (2017) From the 8-Hour Day to the 40-Hour Week: Legitimization Discourses of Labour Legislation between the Wars in France and Belgium. Politics and Governance, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 6–14.

In the interwar period both France and Belgium passed legislation reducing the number of working hours and established a hybrid regulatory regime lending a certain degree of official authority to collective agreements. The paper analyses discourses by scholars who, as experts, were close to the political elites, and who tried to legitimize this kind of co-regulation by pointing out the inefficiency of state intervention and the epistemic authority of non-state actors.

Jonas R.M. Van Audenaerde et al.

Van Audenaerde, JRM et al. (2017) Interleukin-15 stimulates natural killer cell-mediated killing of both human pancreatic cancer and stellate cells.  Oncotarget.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the 4th leading cause of cancerrelated death in Western countries with a 5-year survival rate below 5%. One of the hallmarks of this cancer is the strong desmoplastic reaction within the tumor microenvironment (TME), orchestrated by activated pancreatic stellate cells (PSC). This results in a functional and mechanical shield which causes resistance to conventional therapies.