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University of Liège

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273 Projects, page 1 of 55
  • Open Access mandate for Publications
    Funder: EC Project Code: 853608
    Overall Budget: 1,499,950 EURFunder Contribution: 1,499,950 EUR
    Partners: University of Liège

    Symbiotic and pathogenic microbes are major environmental factors that play fundamental roles in shaping host immunity. Such dynamic interactions between commensals or pathogens and the host must be finely regulated to balance protective immune responses and induction of regulatory pathways. While frequently underestimated, immune imprinting by viruses is a key determinant for variation in disease susceptibility. Numerous evidence shows that a history of infections trains the innate immune system for the long term. Amongst the cells that are trained, monocytes are highly heterogeneous and are involved in essential biological processes such as anti-microbial activity, immunomodulation or macrophage-niche replenishment. While the current paradigm states that monocyte fate and function are driven by the local microenvironment, a recent study has shown that monocytes are primed in the bone marrow for functional properties. Here, we want to explore how and where monocyte development and function are educated by symbiotic (Murid herpesvirus 4) or pathogenic (Pneumonia Virus of Mice) viruses and with which potential outcomes for long-term immunity. To this end, we have devised three main aims. First, following infections, we will characterize monocytes and their progenitors by classical immunophenotyping, functional assays and unbiased single-cell RNA-seq in combination with ATAC-seq, to investigate in-depth how and where viruses shape monocytes and monocyte-derived cells. Second, molecular mechanism(s) underlying monocyte priming after infections will be assessed. In particular, based on literature and preliminary results, we postulate that bone marrow CD169+ macrophages could play a key role in early monocyte priming. Third, the consequences of virus-driven monocyte training will be investigated at steady state and upon heterologous challenges. Such research could provide the proof of concept that viral education of bone marrow monocytes shapes long-term innate immunity.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 949577
    Overall Budget: 1,497,000 EURFunder Contribution: 1,497,000 EUR
    Partners: University of Liège

    Genomics technologies promise to shape the ideal animal of the future. Social sciences so far mostly took interest in the medical domain with the Human Genome Project and its aftermath. However, a great deal of fast-pace developments are occurring in livestock genomics. This has become a mundane genomics infrastructure, routinely used in late capitalist societies. This infrastructure offers to solve pressing societal issues, such as improving the health of animals, lowering their environmental impact or enhancing the biodiversity. Focusing on the case of cattle livestock, The BoS project aims to describe and analyze how societal values are being translated in bovine bodies. It asks the following guiding research questions: how are such values as health, environment or biodiversity incorporated in cattle selection and reproduction? Conversely, how are bodies transformed by these values, and through which techniques and practices? To answer those questions, The BoS project will provide a political anthropology of the genomics infrastructure, contributing to sociology of scientific knowledge, science & technology studies and environmental humanities. Phase 1 carries out three laboratory ethnographies in centres of scientific excellence that contribute to global livestock genomics, so as to provide context-sensitive accounts of how values of health, the environment and biodiversity are turned into knowledge. Phase 2 follows the knowledge in the wider world of social actors, carrying out participant observations and semi-structured interviews, to question the transformation of cattle bodies by genomics. The project is very innovative as livestock genomics offers an unprecedented case study of actual applications of genomics knowledge. Three PhD students will be respectively in charge of one of the fieldworks (one centre / one value). A postdoc researcher will investigate the historical contexts for each fieldwork and provide conceptual insight to the PhDs students.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 272178
    Partners: University of Liège
  • Open Access mandate for Publications
    Funder: EC Project Code: 752686
    Overall Budget: 160,800 EURFunder Contribution: 160,800 EUR
    Partners: University of Liège

    This prospective exploratory study will aim at characterizing vigilance fluctuation in patients with disorders of consciousness (as defined by a change in diurnal behavioral response over time) using neurophysiological parameters. We based this project on the assumption that changes at the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised scores (i.e., behavioral responsiveness) will be associated with a change in ocular measures and EEG complexity, suggesting that some of these parameters could be used for monitoring vigilance in this population. We expect that this fluctuation will be particularly marked in patients with a minimally conscious state as compared with patients in an unresponsive wakefulness syndrome who will display a more stable pattern of response over the two days. This project aims to better understand the course of vigilance fluctuation in DOC and to develop an objective tool based on biomarkers that could be used at bedside to determine the best periods to assess and treat these patients.

  • Open Access mandate for Publications and Research data
    Funder: EC Project Code: 798109
    Overall Budget: 160,465 EURFunder Contribution: 160,465 EUR
    Partners: University of Liège

    Mind-wandering (MW) is the occurrence of thoughts that are decoupled from immediate perceptual inputs and unrelated to the activity at hand. MW represents a substantial part of our daily thinking time and it has substantial negative effects on reading, memory, and the ability to focus attention. At the same time, MW can enhance creativity and afford opportunities to plan for the future. However, most of what we currently know about MW comes from laboratory studies where the tasks from which the mind wanders are simple, boring, repetitive, and do not reflect the richness of daily life events. A limited body of research using experience sampling gives a coarse-grained characterization of MW in real-life situations, but this approach cannot measure the detailed behavioral structure of MW, or its neural correlates, to reveal underlying mechanisms. To overcome this barrier, we will leverage new advances in methods to study naturalistic event comprehension in the laboratory. We will adopt a multi-method approach that will combine (i) validated event cognition tasks that involve the viewing of movies of naturalistic everyday activities with (ii) state-of-the-art techniques to measure the behavioral, physiological, and neural correlates of MW. Study 1 will use eye-tracking to determine whether and how the event structure of naturalistic activities affects the perceptual decoupling component of MW. Study 2 will examine how the structure of everyday activities can modulate the content of MW episodes. Finally, Study 3 will use functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how the neural correlates of MW are modulated by the event structure of everyday activities. Together, these studies will provide the foundations for a detailed account of MW in naturalistic settings, laying the basis for future interventions aimed at helping individuals to capitalize on the benefits of MW in their daily life while minimizing the associated costs.