KU Leuven

Malaria: adrenal hormones save lives

In 2020, a couple in Kampenhout died of malaria. In Belgium, this is highly exceptional, but worldwide, and especially in Africa, 400,000 malaria deaths, often involving children, occur every year. Leen Vandermosten wants to help reduce malaria deaths. Can injections of glucocorticoids, hormones from the adrenal glands, protect people from a deadly course of malaria infection? That's what Leen wants to figure out!
KU Leuven

How listening to a story can help us diagnose aphasia

One in three stroke patients suffer from aphasia, a language disorder, and suddenly face problems communicating. The good thing is that with the right therapy their communication can be improved. In her PhD, Jill Kries (KU Leuven) is developing an automatic, fast, and precise method for diagnosis drawing on audio stories, EEG, and an algorithm.

KU Leuven

Protecting the brain: how to make safer bicycle helmets

In Belgium, 10,000 cyclists are injured in traffic accidents every year. While helmets help reduce skill fractures, they often don't protect cyclists from brain injuries. Andrea Menichetti (KU Leuven) studies how much our brain can deform before getting injured in order to help manufacturers produce safer helmets.
KU Leuven

Making immunotherapy stand up against colon cancer

Did you know that colon cancer is the third most deadly cancer worldwide? Unfortunately, while immunotherapy is quite effective in the treatment of many cancers, such as skin cancer, it only works in 5% of colon cancer patients. Sara Verbandt (KU Leuven) explains how she wants to make immunotherapy stand up against colon cancer.
KU Leuven

Selecting the proper treatment for cancer patients

Immunotherapy is a very promising therapy for cancer, but only 15 to 30% of the patients respond to this kind of therapy. Giving immunotherapy to patients without knowing whether they will respond is expensive and can even harm them. That's why Madhavi Andhari is looking for markers to tell apart responders from non-responders.
KU Leuven

How to make smart devices smart enough to respect our privacy?

A smart speaker can make our lives easier by acting as our home assistant and helping us manage our daily tasks. But what about our privacy? Can we trust these devices with our family arguments over money spending? By designing technologies and workflows, engineer Rafa Gálvez wants to help companies develop smart devices that respect our privacy. 
KU Leuven

Language recovery after a stroke

Can you recover from aphasia after a stroke? And how long does it take? At the moment no doctor can immediately answer these questions. Klara Schevenels (KU Leuven) wants to give patients with aphasia after a stroke a quick and reliable prognosis so that they have a reliable window on the future.
De Beukelaer
KU Leuven

What is the impact of a brain injury on babies and their muscle growth?

Watching a baby grow up is fascinating, isn't it? Especially that magical moment when it takes its first steps as a toddler. But did you know that one in five hundred babies is born with a permanent brain injury and may never be able to walk independently? Nathalie De Beukelaer (KU Leuven) hopes to change this with her research👇
KU Leuven

Help, I am short of breath! 🥵

Out of breath after just eight steps up the stairs? That is the case every day for the 600,000 people in Belgium with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Physiotherapist Astrid Blondeel (KU Leuven) wants to help them using a personalised coaching programme and a smartphone app.
KU Leuven

DNA as the last resort to find the perpetrator

Sofie Claerhout's doctorate was looking for a new way to trace offenders in a murder case on the basis of DNA found at the crime scene. Using DNA kinship analysis, she can map out distant kinships, up to 40 generations apart, on the basis of a DNA sample. This makes it possible to trace the perpetrator much more precisely.
Van Herck
KU Leuven

Combating dyslexia with audio books

Hearing impairments play an important role in dyslexia. For example, people with dyslexia are less able to hear the subtle sound difference at the start of similar letters, such as the 'b' and the 'p'. By offering children adapted audio stories in nursery school, Shauni Van Herck wants to tackle these hearing problems at an early stage.

Micro-algae: how to make space food your daily snack?

Micro-algae form a healthy protein-rich meal. No wonder this is eaten by astronauts during space travels 👨‍🚀 Joran Verspreet's (VITO) mission is to get this fancy space food onto your plate 🍽