All "ARC" projects led by or with researchers from ULB

Two types of ARC exist at ULB: ‘consolidating’ ARCs, intended for recently hired academics, and ‘advanced’ ARCs, for more experienced teams.

For the 2018-2023 call for proposals, 9 "consolidator" and 9 "advanced" projects are supported at the ULB. For the 2014-2019 call, 11 "consolidator" and 9 "advanced" projects have been launched.

2018-2023 projects

ARC "Consolidator" 2018-2023

NuttI: Nutrient Factories under the Ice

Climate change is amplified in polar regions. As a result, ice sheets are currently experiencing record melting. While the physical consequences of this alarming retreat have been intensively studied, its biogeochemical dimension remains poorly understood. Read more.

Spokesperson: Sandra ARNDT, Biogeochemistry and Modelling of the Earth System (BGeOsys)

CODiFY: integration of mechanical cues in cardiac remodelling

Myocardial infarction and local cell death result in formation of a scar that is essential for mechanical reinforcement of the damaged heart wall. Read more.

Spokesperson: Nicolas BAEYENS, Physiology and Pharmacology Laboratory

Examining political congruence in a comparative perspective

The linkage between citizens and representatives is one of the most important topics in the study of democratic political systems. It is an even more important issue in the current context of democratic malaise in Europe and elsewhere. Read more.

Spokesperson: Nathalie Brack, Centre d'étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL)

Learning new words: How does reading experience impact lexical storage in adults?

The aim of the project is to examine how orthographic representations of new words emerge in skilled readers. This question has been little investigated in adults, and most of the time with laboratory experimental designs very different from what happens in daily life. Read more.

Spokesperson: Fabienne Chetail, Laboratoire Cognition Langage & Development (CRCN)

IMpaCT: Integrated Mechatronics for Active vibration ConTrol

High precision instrument require active control in order to operate properly, and reduce their sensitivity to external disturbances. For example, gravitational wave detector and large particle colliders require a strong isolation from ground motion. Read more.

Spokesperson: Christophe Collette, BEAMS

Belgian-Vietnamese and Belgian-Laotian couples in focus

The increasing heterogeneity in ethnic, socio-cultural and politico-legal terms of Europe-Southeast Asia social spaces poses challenges to ‘mixed’ couples with differing nationalities and/or ethnicities to form and ‘do’ family. Read more.

Spokesperson: Asuncion FRESNOZA-FLOT, Laboratory of Anthropology of Contemporary Worlds

The role of protein tyrosine phosphatases in metabolic diseases

Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs) constitute a superfamily of enzymes that act on tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins. The ULB Center for Diabetes Research has shown that PTPs play a role in pathological conditions such as obesity and inflammation. Read more.

Spokesperson: Esteban Gurzov, ULB Center for Diabetes Research

Quantum Physics and Information with Indefinite Causal Structure

One of the most deeply rooted ideas in science and in everyday life is that events take place ordered in time, with present events being caused by events in the past and in turn acting as causes for events in the future. Read more.

Spokesperson: Ognyan Oreshkov, Centre for Quantum Information and Communication

21st Century Trade Policy

New proposed trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) or the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) go beyond traditional liberalization efforts. Read more.

Spokesperson: Mathieu Parenti, European Centre for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

ARC "Advanced" 2018-2023

The role of key epigenetic regulators during cancer development

The genetic landscape of many human cancers demonstrates the high frequency of mutations in epigenetic regulators. Read more.

Spokesperson: Cédric Blanpain, Laboratory of Stem Cells and Cancer

Impact of marriage market dynamics on household decisions’

Family economics is an exciting and growing field in economics, which allows for addressing a variety of relevant questions on what happens within households. Read more.

Spokesperson: Bram De Rock, European Centre for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Virtual Nervous Systems

Swarm intelligence is the discipline that deals with natural and artificial systems composed of many individuals that coordinate using decentralised control and self-organisation.  Read more.

Spokesperson: Marco Dorigo, IRIDIA

Shaping neonatal immunity by maternal administration of probiotics

The neonatal period is considered as a window of opportunity to shape innate and adaptive immunity that will influence life-long immunity. Read more.

Spokesperson: Véronique Flamand, Institute for Medical Immunology (IMI)

Soft-Matter under Dissipative Conditions

Equilibrium thermodynamics remains the dominant framework in chemistry and physics, notably in the field of materials science. The project “SADI” intends to radically deviate from the mainstream of customary research and address the application. Read more.

Spokesperson: Yves Geerts, Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry

The Socio-Cognitive Impact of Literacy

Many researches have shown that individual differences in cognitive processes or knowledge bases predict academic achievement, in particular literacy (reading-writing). Read more.

Spokesperson: Régine Kolinsky, Research Unit in Cognitive Neurosciences (Unescog)

Untangling the multiple categorizations of migrants

The prohibition of discrimination starts from the presumption that certain grounds, such as race, religious belief or gender, constitute irrelevant reasons for decision-making or for allocating important social goods. Read more.

Spokesperson: Laurent Licata, Center for Social and Cultural Psychology (CeSCuP)

Robust and Efficient Solutions to the "Big Data" Challenge

The present "Big Data" era is characterized by the sheer amount and variety of available information. Statisticians and data scientists are challenged to deal with high-dimensional data, complicated dependence structures. Read more.

Spokesperson: Davy Paindaveine, European Centre for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) and Department of Mathematics

Single-cell analysis of bacterial persistence

Persistence is a phenotypic switch enabling individual bacterial cells to tolerate antibiotics. This reversible phenomenon occurs at very low frequency in bacterial populations, making observation and analysis of persister cells quite challenging. Read more.

Spokesperson: Laurence Van Melderen, Cellular and Molecular Microbiology Laboratory

2016-2021 Projects

ARC "Consolidator" 2016-2021

Designing supramolecular interactions using reactive complexes

A big challenge in Material Science is to unravel general schemes for the rational design of ’smart’ functional materials, whose optical, electronic or molecular properties, among others, can be tailored to respond to specific external stimuli. Read more.

Spokesperson: MOGNETTI Bortolo Matteo, Physics of Complex Systems and Statistical Mechanics


Since storing data electronically is steadily becoming easier and cheaper, one is nowadays often collecting nearly continuous data records. Examples can be found in diverse fields, including environmental sciences. Read more.

Spokesperson: HÖRMANN Siegfried, Department of Mathematics

The Entropy Compression Method

Many computational problems of interest are difficult, in the sense that no efficient (polynomial time) algorithm solving them is known. This is for instance the case for the traveling salesman problem, who has to find a shortest circuit visiting a given set of cities: no fast algorithm has been found for this apparently simple problem when the number of cities is large. Read more.

Spokesperson: JORET Gwenaël, Department of Informatics

Characterization of foregut cancer initiation and development

Esophageal carcinomas (EsC) is currently the eighth most frequent cancer in the world, with approximately 450,000 new cancer cases annually worldwide. Due to its aggressive nature, this cancer is associated to a poor survival rate: only 5%-15% at five years. Read more.

Spokesperson: BECK Benjamin, IRIBHM, U-CRC

Assessment of Diet in Adolescents and Young Adults in Belgium

Katia Castetbon and researchers from The School of Public Health propose to develop an ambitious research program aiming at evaluating, over time, public health initiatives regarding diet in relation to social inequalities. Read more.

Spokesperson: CASTETBON Katia, Public Health School

Does sex restrain genome evolution?

In sexual animals, chromosomes are organised in pairs, allowing allelic recombination during meiosis. The asexual rotifer Adineta vaga is a microscopic species comprising only females that reproduce clonally, without meiosis Read more.

Spokesperson: FLOT Jean-François, Evolutionary Biology and Ecology

Molecular mechanisms of bacterial persistence

The spread of resistant bacteria is a major public health threat. Virtually all bacteria can produce phenotypic variants of actively dividing cells, known as "persisters", that are tolerant to most known antibiotic. Read more.

Spokesperson: GARCIA-PINO Abel, Laboratoire de Microbiologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire

Descriptions of rituals in Italy in the first millennium BC

A number of languages were spoken in Italy in the first millennium BC. With the exception of Latin and Greek, these languages are fragmentarily attested, mainly through quite short inscriptions. Read more.

Spokesperson: DUPRAZ Emmanuel, Literary, Philological and Textual Studies

Implementing language policy in urban heteroglossic schools

Many urban schools today welcome pupils from different linguistic origins who must nevertheless adapt to a monolingual school policy implemented by their teachers. Read more.

Spokesperson: JASPERS Jürgen, Center of research in linguistics LaDisco


ARC "Advanced" 2016-2021

Searches for a dark matter emitted neutrino signal

Dark matter (DM) is five times more abundant than ordinary matter in the Universe, but what it is made of remains obscure. The main question which is still open is : what is the nature of DM as particles? Read more.

Spokesperson: Thomas Hambye, Theoretical Physics.

Self-Organising circuits For Interconnected, Secure and Template computing (SOFIST)

Over the last 50 years, the CMOS technology allowed more and more efficient manufacturing of integrated circuits. This technology has now reached not only the physical limits, but also important economic barriers! Read more.

Spokesperson: Dragomir Milojevic, BEAMS.

Non-Zero Sum Game Graphs: Applications to Reactive Synthesis and Beyond

Reactive systems are computer systems that maintain a continuous interaction with the environment in which they operate. Such systems are nowadays part of our daily life: think about common yet critical applications like engine control units in automotive, plane autopilots, medical devices... Read more.

Spokesperson: Jean-François Raskin, Verification and formal methods.

AU-rich element (ARE)-mediated mRNA and the maintenance of skin and gut immune homeostasis

Epithelial barriers such as gut and skin are continuously exposed to environmental stimuli, including commensal and pathogenic microbes. It is essential for the host to control inflammatory processes. Read more.

Spokesperson: Stanislas Goriely, Institute for Medical Immunology

APOL1 - SRA interplay

For many years, the Molecular Parasitology Laboratory has been mainly devoted to the study of the mechanisms of adaptation of African trypanosomes, parasites that cause sleeping sickness in man and the nagana disease in cattle. Read more.

Spokesperson: David-Pérez-Morga, Molecular Parasitology Cell

Transcriptional mechanisms regulating HIV-1 post-integration latency

Antiretroviral multitherapy increases survival and quality of life of HIV-infected patients. However, interruption of therapy almost invariably leads to the re-emergence of detectable viral replication, since HIV persists in viral latent reservoirs. Read more.

Spokesperson: Carine Van Lint, Service of Molecular Virology

East Asian Youth: Identities and Practices in Public Spaces (GENEsYs)

East Asian societies have, over the past few decades, undergone dramatic demographic, economic, political and technological transitions. Particularly impacted by these transformations is the younger generation, which experiences differ greatly from earlier generations. Read more.

Spokesperson: Vanessa Frangville, Chinese studies.

Locals dealing with Developmental Incomes in West & Central Africa

This research proposal focuses on Development Incomes (DI), namely on financial amounts drawn from the exploitation of natural resources and allocated to riverine communities with a view to invest in sustainable development. Read more.

Spokesperson: Véronique Joiris, Center of Cultural Anthropology.

Why Lefort Matters : A Conceptual Genealogy of Contemporary Normative Issues

Claude Lefort (1924-2010) may be seen today as one of the leading political theorists of the late twentieth century. Yet the secondary literature on his output remains peculiarly sparse, especially outside the French-speaking world. Read more.

Spokesperson: Justine Lacroix, Centre for Political Theory

2014-2019 Projects

ARC "Consolidator" 2014-2019

Photoinduced Copper-Catalyzed Reactions

Whether we're talking about developing polymers, new materials or producing drugs, all these scientific fields need to synthesise organic molecules. This requires the support of one of chemistry's oldest fields, organic chemistry. Read more.

Spokesperson: Gwilherm Evano, Organic Chemistry Lab

Theoretical Foundations of Data Transformations

Formal methods are mathematical models and tools to reason about computer systems. Based on the deeply studied theories of automata and logics, they have been successfully applied, for instance, to the automatic verification of control systems whose primary goal is to control other devices. Read more.

Spokesperson: Emmanuel Filiot, Department of Informatics

PREDICT - Numerical simulation of novel combustion technologies

Flameless combustion represents a very attractive solution for combustion systems as it can provide high combustion efficiency with low pollutant emissions. Read more.

Spokesperson: Alessandro Parente, Aero-Thermo-Mecanics (ATM) Service

PIONEER - Physico-chemistry in out-of-equilibrium nonideal environments

The objective of this project is to develop a theoretical framework for out-of-equilibrium nonideal systems. The strong intermolecular interactions characterizing such systems play an important role in numerous chemical, environmental and biological phenomena. Read more.

Spokesperson: Laurence Rongy, Non Linear Physical Chemistry Unit

Hopf algebras and the Symmetries of Non-commutative Spaces

As a classical group describes the symmetries of the space upon which it acts, a Hopf algebra can be understood as the algebraic object that describes the symme- tries of a non-commutative space which is encoded by an algebra upon which this Hopf algebra (co)acts. Read more.

Spokesperson: Joost Vercruysse, Mathematics Department, Discrete Mathematics Service

Unveiling novel mechanisms of bêta cell dysfunction and death in diabetes

Diabetes is caused by loss of pancreatic bêta cell functional mass. The molecular mechanisms leading to bêta cell dysfunction and apoptosis remain to be clarified. Read more.

Spokesperson: Miriam Cnop, Laboratory of Experimental Medicine - ULB Center for Diabetes Research

Characterization of the temporal dynamics and the electrophysiological bases of resting state network

In the absence of task, the activity of the human brain is in resting state networks (RSNs). Since RSNs discovery, neuroscientists tried to identify their electrophysiological signatures. Read more.

Spokesperson: Xavier De Tiège, Laboratoire de Cartographie fonctionnelle du Cerveau, UNI - ULB Neuroscience Institute

Genetic control of brain vascular development

Despite the importance of the neurovascular unit in a large set of central nervous system disorders, the mechanisms underlying brain angiogenesis and brain endothelial specialization are unclear. Read more.

Spokesperson: Benoit Vanhollebeke, Molecular Parasitology Laboratory

The Rising Middle Class in Liberia

Over the last decade economic growth in the African continent has been particularly high and the middle class is increasing. According to leading international institutions this growing middle class will be decisive in the next decades. Read more.

Spokesperson: Mathieu Hilgers, Laboratory of Anthropology of Contemporary Worlds

Context in autism

The widespread view is that persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders suffer from a global pragmatic impairment, caused by difficulty in mindreading. Read more.

Spokesperson: Mikhail Kissine, LaDisco

Transformations of practical reason in early modern philosophy prior to Kant

This project aims to challenge the prevailing view about early modern Ethics. Modern ethics is often reduced to the opposition between empiricist accounts and naturalistic ones. Read more.

Spokesperson: Arnaud Pelletier, Department of Philosophy

ARC "Advanced" 2014-2019

Models for Quantum Black Holes and Cosmologies

Understanding the quantum properties of black holes and cosmological spacetimes is one of the most profound problems in modern theoretical physics, whose resolution requires a framework where general relativity and quantum mechanics are unified. Read more.

Spokesperson: Frank Ferrari, Mathematical physics of fundamental interactions

Design of high density protein microarrays

Proteins are not only involved in a very large number of biological processes but are also more and more widely used in the field of health, nanotechnologies and medicine. Read more.

Spokesperson: Erik Goormaghtigh, Structure and Function of Biological Membranes

Statistical and computational tools in high-dimensional recovery

The researchers plan to develop information criteria for sparse, structured selection and estimation of high-dimensional, linear models. Read more.

Spokesperson: Ignace Loris, Mechanics and Applied Mathematics

Genetic architecture in brain developmental disorders

Even when a single causative gene mutation is involved, a few (oligogenic) to many (polygenic) additional genetic variants contribute to disease outcome. Innovative bioinformatics tools are needed to tackle this complex genetic architecture within whole genome sequencing data. Read more.

Spokesperson: Marc Abramowicz, Dept of Genetics, Hôpital Erasme & Laboratory of Medical Genetics, IRIBHM

The nucleolus in Health and Disease

Ribosomes and nuclear pore complexes are essential cellular nanomachines responsible for protein synthesis and nucleocytoplasmic trafficking, respectively. Read more.

Spokesperson: Denis Lafontaine, RNA Molecular Biology

From human pluripotent stem cells to cortical circuits

The development of connectivity in the cerebral cortex has major implications for our understanding of brain function and disease. However it has remained almost impossible to study in the human species at the cellular level. Read more.

Spokesperson: Pierre Vanderhaeghen, IRIBHM, UNI

The European Union and its values

Values at the core of European integration have been widely discussed in recent years due to several major evolutions in EU governance. Read more.

Spokesperson: François Foret, Cevipol, IEE

Strategic Litigation

In the human rights field, SL denotes the practice of taking an emblematic case to court to provoke broader changes in law and society in line with certain collective ideals or values. Read more.

Spokesperson: Annemie Schaus, Center for Public Law

Sexual Revolution and (De)pilarisation from 1960 to 2000

Pilarisation, which refers to the management of religious and philosophical diversity in highly divided societies, is one of the fundamental features of Belgian society. It led to the existence of separated worlds surrounding individuals from cradle to grave. Read more.

Spokesperson: Cécile Vanderpelen, CIERL

If you are a researcher at ULB and wish to submit an ARC application, please contact the Research Department:
Updated on February 22, 2019