KU Leuven

KU Leuven, with more than 40.000 students, is the 5th European university in the 2009 Leiden bibliometric ranking, 6th and 5th university participant in FP6 and FP7, respectively, by budget distribution, and is a charter member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). The annual research expenditure in 2010 was 347 m€, with a scientific staff of over 5,100 researchers (FTE), of which 37% are international scholars (PhD and postdoc level). KU Leuven research & innovation output is high: 585 PhD degrees (2010-2011), of which 175 for foreign PhD students), over 14,100 international peer-reviewed publications (2008-2010), more than 90 spin-off companies created, and a total patent portfolio comprising around 280 patent families.

CMPG (subgroup S&P)

CMPG (subgroup S&P)

The Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics (CMPG) was founded in 1953 by Professor Joseph M. Heuts (1917-1996), and originally named after F.A. Janssens (1863-1924), discoverer of crossing-over sites in chromosomes of meiotic cells. Research at the CMPG is dedicated to all aspects of microbe-host interactions, ranging from plant-fungus interactions to Salmonella-human interactions. Both wet lab and computational approaches are being used. Seven members of academic staff lead an integrated community of more than 75 doctoral research students and post-doctoral research fellows, supported by a team of technicians and secretarial staff.

The Salmonella & Probiotics (S&P) subgroup, initiated in 2000, focuses on the mutual interactions between intestinal bacteria (Lactobacillus, Salmonella) and on the interactions of these bacteria with biotic (e.g. epithelial cells) and abiotic surfaces (biofilm formation). A special focus is on the development of antimicrobial agents and anti-biofilm agents by using highly interdisciplinary approaches, covering modelling and systems approaches, chemical synthesis, in vitro validation.

  • Jozef Vanderleyden (professor – NEMOA project coordinator)
  • Hans Steenackers (postdoc – NEMOA project and valorization manager)
  • Stijn Robijns (PhD student)
  • Ami De Weerdt (technician)
  • Kai Waldrant (technician)
DTAI (subgroup ML)

DTAI (subgroup ML)

The activities of DTAI (Declarative Languages and Artificial Intelligence) are centred around research and education in programming languages and artificial intelligence. Main themes of study are in the fields of declarative languages, machine learning, data mining, and knowledge representation. DTAI started in the mid-seventies, closely following the invention of logic programming and became one of the world's leading centres for research in logic programming. Gradually, the scope of its research broadened, including functional programming and more artificial intelligence oriented topics in knowledge representation and machine learning. The use of logic is a common thread to almost all activities.The machine learning (ML) subgroup is investigating all types of machine learning and data mining problems and techniques, though it focuses on dealing with structured data (such as graphs, trees and sequences), symbolic, logical and relational representations, and the use of knowledge and constraints. The group is well-known for its work on inductive logic programming, (statistical) relational learning, relational reinforcement learning, decision tree learning, graph mining, and inductive databases and constraint-based mining. It also studies applications in the life sciences and action- and activity learning.

  • Luc De Raedt (professor)
  • Jan Ramon (postdoc)
  • Leander Schietgat (postdoc)
  • Kurt De Grave (postdoc)


The KU Leuven laboratory of biomolecular modeling (Biomol) is one of the few Belgian academic laboratories where 3D computational methods are developed and used to study the 3-dimensional properties of biological macromolecules. The laboratory expertise has been integrated into two interfacultary centers at the KULeuven: BioMacS and PharmAbs. Since the emergence of computational methods in drug design and protein modelling, these methods have been studied with success in the laboratory during the last few years. This can be demonstrated by the publication of the research conducted at the laboratory in journals, some with high impact (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Chemical Biology) and patents. Biomol contributed to the discovery of the first HIV inhibitors acting by disrupting the interaction of a viral protein with its cellular cofactor by performing a structure based drug design experiment which resulted in the first hit molecules which were later on optimized and validated by our collaborators.

  • Marc De Maeyer (professor)
  • Joren De Raeymaecker (PhD student)


The Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3) is an investment fund and technology transfer platform aimed at promoting the discovery and development of innovative medicines for all kinds of diseases. CD3 achieves this goal by building further on the enormous pool of basic knowledge, innovation and technology of universities and spin-off companies. By providing the necessary expertise and financial resources, CD3 ensures that fundamental biomedical research carried out by universities and small biotech companies is translated into more usable results and promising molecules for new medicines.CD3 was set up at the end of 2006 by KU Leuven Research & Development (LRD) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) with a starting capital of 8 million euro. In 2010 an additional investment of 16 million euro was realised to further expand the initial success of CD3. As a result, CD3 today is a fund of 24 million euro.

  • Patrick Chaltin (managing director)


The Ghent University was founded by King William I of Orange in 1816 and inaugurated on October 9, 1817. Ghent University is with over 38,000 students and 7,100 employees one of the largest universities in the Dutch speaking region of Europe. Ghent University occupies a special position among the Flemish universities as open, socially committed and pluralistic. More than 120 departments, spread across 11 faculties, offer high quality and research-based courses. Disciplines such as biotechnology, aquaculture, microelectronics history and enjoy world fame.

N2N (subgroup dataintegration and networks)

N2N (subgroup dataintegration and networks)

The aim of the Multidisciplinary Research Partnership (MRP) “From Nucleotides to Networks” (N2N) is, amongst other things, to 1) build streamlined pipelines to deal with increasingly large numbers of heterogeneous data, 2) integrate these data for further downstream analyses, 3) develop novel tools and approaches for systems biology (inferring and modelling biological networks), and 4) apply these tools and approaches to two main application fields, namely Sustainable Agriculture and Successful Aging. The subgroup involved in dataintegration and networks will participate in the current project.

  • Kathleen Marchal (professor; VIB, Plant Systems Biology Department, Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, UGent)
  • Yves Van de Peer (professor; VIB, Plant Systems Biology Department, Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, UGent)
  • Jan Fostier (professor; Department of Information Technology, UGent - IBBT)
  • Carolina Fierro (postdoc, NEMOA valorization manager)
  • Dries De Maeyer (PhD student)