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Launch of Single Cell Accelerator drives VIB to forefront of single cell research


VIB is one of the earliest adopters of disruptive single-cell technologies to boost research in this ground-breaking field. The VIB ‘Single Cell Accelerator’ program is being launched to aid access to multiple innovative platforms and to foster technology development tools. This new program will run through VIB’s Tech Watch initiative and will inject additional funding and technological support in emerging single-cell technologies. This will enable VIB to establish its position at the forefront of this rapidly moving research field. Janssen is the first pharma company to collaborate with VIB in the Single Cell Accelerator, showcasing the great value of this initiative.

A study by Thomas Voets and his team heats up our understanding of ion channels


​After years of ongoing experiments and an extended review process, the teams of Thomas Voets (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research) and Joris Vriens (KU Leuven) have successfully published a boundary-pushing paper on mammalian heat-sensing channels in the high-impact journal Nature. The researchers are credited with a hot discovery: the presence of three redundant ion channels in neurons, forming a fail-safe heat-sensing mechanism for extra burn protection. It took plenty of commitment – and sometimes 80 behavioral mouse experiments per day – but all the hard work has paid off for Thomas and team members Ine Vandewauw, Katrien De Clercq and Marie Mulier.

Neuronal ‘barcodes’ shape complex networks in the brain


The brain is an enormously complex organ. Understanding how billions of brain cells succeed in making precise connections is a major challenge for neuroscientists. Professor Joris de Wit and his team (VIB-KU Leuven) have unraveled a molecular code that determines the shape, location and function of connections between individual neurons. These findings could help us better understand brain disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.