The mission of the Biomedical Research Centre is to understand the fundamental immunological principles that govern host-pathogen interactions. This approach is expected to yield new therapeutic and diagnostic approaches as well as vaccine strategies against infectious diseases.
The focus of our research aims at:
Investigating the mechanisms underlying destruction of an immunological memory;
Identifying new vaccine candidates;
Establishing a compound screening platform aiming at adjuvant activity identification;
Setting up a nanobody screening and production platform for the development of new diagnostic tools.
Our investigations comprise bacterial, viral and parasitic models using state-of-the-art technologies including FACS(sort), scRNAseq, fluorescent microscopy and NGS for genome analysis.
The Biomedical Research Centre gives courses for undergraduate students in the BSc programmes of Environmental Technology, Food Technology and Molecular Biotechnology at Ghent University Global Campus:
Animal Biology (BA2): This is a basic course with emphasis on animal diversity, adaptations, evolution, and elements of ecology. The course combines lectures with practical courses and visits to a South Korean ecology park.
Microbiology (BA2): This is a basic course in microbiology with emphasis on morphological, biochemical and genetic diversity of Bacteria, Archea, and viruses. The course gives also information about the use of microorganisms in biotechnology, agriculture, environmental technologies, and their roles in health and diseases. The course combines lectures with wet lab practical courses.
Biochemistry (BA2): This is a basic course in biochemistry with an emphasis on the metabolic pathways such as glycolysis, the Krebs cycle and the simple amino acid synthesis pathways. It puts the knowledge about amino acid structures in the context of protein function. The course is placed in a biotechnology context with special attention to food technology and links to human health issues as well as commercial applications of biochemical products. The course has an equal distribution between theoretic classes and laboratory practical courses.
Molecular Biology: Concepts and Methods (BA2): This is a basic course in molecular biology of prokaryotes. The course also introduces techniques used in molecular biology such as cloning, DNA and RNA purification, polymerase chain reaction, and genome sequencing. The course combines lectures with wet lab practical courses and basic bioinformatics classes.
Immunology: (BA3): This is a basic course that outlines the building blocks of the human immune system. The basic principles of vaccination are explained and the buildup of the cellular mechanisms involved in the generation of immunological memory are explained. Finally, several infectious disease models are used to explain applied and functional immunology concepts. Practicals are a key component of the course.