VUB Scientific Support Fund celebrates 50th birthday

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Monday, May 23, 2022 — On Saturday 21th of May, 50 years of support for scientific research was celebrated. Fifty years ago the Cultural Support Fund, later renamed to Scientific Support Fund, was founded. For the occasion, an academic session was organized on the Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering Campus.

When the independent Vrije Universiteit Brussel was founded, there were not many financial means available for research. To find more means for scientific research, rector Roger Van Geen asked Franz Bingen (then a member of the board) to establish a new fund. Thus, the Cultural Support Fund for the VUB saw the daylight and was later renamed to VUB Scientific Support Fund.

The Support Fund aims to help out young researchers in the beginning of their career because in most cases they do not qualify for major research grants. Various research projects that fall between the folds of traditional finance sources, are as well supported. Priority is given to interdisciplinary research, because the most valuable breakthroughs nowadays happen at the interface of related disciplines.

One of those young researchers is dr. ir. Xenia Geeraerts who, led by Bart Neyns (head of Medical Oncology) and Sandra Tuyaerts, wishes to offer the prospect of a better prognosis to patients with glioblastoma. Each year hundreds of Belgians get diagnosed with glioblastoma. This is an extremely aggressive and difficult to treat brain cancer with not much chance of survival. Xenia Geeraerts wants to verify whether the so-called killer T-cells, the body’s own immune cells that can eliminate cancer cells, can be multiplied and genetically modified. The objective is to then inject them in the cerebrospinal fluid of the patients. By doing so, the promising researcher wishes to increase the survival chances of patients with recurring glioblastoma.

To start the promising research of Xenia Geeraerts and her team, more financial resources are necessary. The Scientific Support Fund therefore launches a call for its 50th birthday to support this explorative research. Donations are welcome on the bank account number BE51 0013 6779 3562 of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel with the reference ’GIFT167’. Donations of ¤40 and above are fiscally deductible.

The Scientific Support Fund is managed by the VUB Foundation, the philanthropical department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The policy of the VUB Foundation is based on the conviction that each donation results in societal return. Every contribution supports education, research, innovation or the patrimony of the VUB. The knowledge and insights that arise from this, flow back into the society.

VUB. Every donation returns.
Read more about the VUB Scientific Support Fund Read more about the VUB Foundation Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig - The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People , because that’s what it-s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership , VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré , the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an -urban engaged university-, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.

www.vub.be/dewereldheeftjenodig

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