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See detailAzacytidine prevents experimental xenogeneic graft-versus-host disease without abrogating graft-versus-leukemia effects
Ehx, Grégory ULg; Fransolet, Gilles ULg; de Leval, Laurence ULg et al

Conference (2016, November 18)

The demethylating agent 5-azacytidine (AZA) has proven its efficacy as treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia. In addition, AZA can demethylate FOXP3 intron 1 (FOXP3i1) leading ... [more ▼]

The demethylating agent 5-azacytidine (AZA) has proven its efficacy as treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia. In addition, AZA can demethylate FOXP3 intron 1 (FOXP3i1) leading to the generation of regulatory T cells (Treg). Here, we investigated the impact of AZA on xenogeneic graft-versus-host disease (xGVHD) and graft-versus-leukemia effects in a humanized murine model of transplantation (human PBMCs-infused NSG mice), and described the impact of the drug on human T cells in vivo. We observed that AZA improved both survival and xGVHD scores. Further, AZA significantly decreased human T-cell proliferation as well as IFN-γ and TNF-α serum levels, and reduced the expression of GRANZYME B and PERFORIN 1 by cytotoxic T cells. In addition, AZA significantly increased Treg frequency through hypomethylation of FOXP3i1 as well as increased Treg proliferation. The later was subsequent to higher STAT5 signaling in Treg from AZA-treated mice, which resulted from higher IL-2 secretion by conventional T cells from AZA-treated mice itself secondary to demethylation of the IL-2 gene promoter by AZA. Importantly, Tregs harvested from AZA-treated mice were suppressive and stable over time since they persisted at high frequency in secondary transplant experiments. Finally, graft-versus-leukemia effects (assessed by growth inhibition of THP-1 cells, transfected to express the luciferase gene) were not abrogated by AZA. In summary, our data demonstrate that AZA prevents xGVHD without abrogating graft-versus-leukemia effects. These findings could serve of basis for further studies of GVHD prevention by AZA in acute myeloid leukemia patients offered an allogeneic transplantation. [less ▲]

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See detailPoétiser la Guerre d’Espagne : "Constancio y Manolo" de José Muñoz et Carlos Sampayo.
Dejasse, Erwin ULg

Conference (2016, November 18)

José Muñoz and Carlos Sampayo’s Constancio y Manolo (1976) is their seventh story featuring New York-based detective Alack Sinner. It depicts a Spanish family whose patriarch fought for the Republicans ... [more ▼]

José Muñoz and Carlos Sampayo’s Constancio y Manolo (1976) is their seventh story featuring New York-based detective Alack Sinner. It depicts a Spanish family whose patriarch fought for the Republicans during the Civil War. It also mentions events that took place when Constancio y Manolo was being made: the US presidential election, the death of Francisco Franco and the consequent fall of Spanish dictatorship, and, albeit implicitly, the rise of a similar military, theocratic, and violent regime in the cartoonists’ native country, Argentina. The graphic style is heterogeneous, the main plot is fragmentary and numerous secondary stories interfere with its development; and yet, we are paradoxically dealing with a highlycoherent work. Muñoz and Sampayo’s poetics of fragments are put in the service of their own worldview, committed to resist against all mechanisms of oppression and expressing a deep empathy for all those left out of “economic progress”. [less ▲]

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See detailEducation, Complexity of Work, and Incident Cognitive Impairment in Puerto Rican Older Adults
Andel, Ross; Luisa, Ana; Small, Brent et al

Poster (2016, November 18)

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See detailIn Vivo Preclinical Molecular Imaging: From the Laboratory Bench to the Patient.
Plenevaux, Alain ULg

in Pharmaceuticals (2016, November 18), 9(4), 73

Preclinical molecular imaging plays a key role in the study of diseases and the development, evaluation, andvalidation of novel treatment and diagnostic techniques. The actual aim is to facilitate the ... [more ▼]

Preclinical molecular imaging plays a key role in the study of diseases and the development, evaluation, andvalidation of novel treatment and diagnostic techniques. The actual aim is to facilitate the translation of innovative therapies and diagnostic agents into patients by providing in vivo proof-of-principle data in animal models of diseases and accordingly match some of the legal requirements before human clinical trials. The real power of preclinical imaging stems from the fact that in vivo data are non-invasively collected, thus making longitudinal studies possible. The evolution of the disease or the actual impact of innovative treatments can be evaluated in the same animal over a long period of time. The major modalities used in preclinical molecular imaging (all present in our laboratory) are the positron emission tomography (microPET), the X-ray tomodensitometry (microCT) and the magnetic resonance imaging (microMRI). The GIGA-CRC In vivo Imaging at ULg is a multidisciplinary laboratory which relies on a medical cyclotron for radioisotope productions, a radiochemistry unit for the development of new radiopharmaceuticals and process automation, a GMP unit for radiopharmaceutical productions, a preclinical imaging unit and a clinical imagingplatform (with MRI, PET, EEG, TMS, . . . ). All expertise and qualified staff are present on site. Our laboratory has all necessary permission and approval for radiopharmaceutical productions and human clinical trials. During this presentation, we will take as an example the development of the first SV2A radioligand [18F]UCB-H (a-b) to illustrate how we can bring new ideas from the laboratory bench to the patient (Bretin, F., et al. Eur. J. Nucl. Med. Mol. Imaging Res. 2013, 3, 35; Warnock, G., et al. J. Nucl. Med. 2014, 55, 1336–1341). [less ▲]

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See detailRegional sea level changes for the 20th and the 21st century induced by the regional variability in Greenland ice sheet surface mass loss
Meyssignac, B.; Fettweis, Xavier ULg; Chevrier, R. et al

in Journal of Climate (2016), online

Surface mass balance (SMB) variations of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) has been identified as an important contributor to contemporary and projected global mean sea level variations but their impact on ... [more ▼]

Surface mass balance (SMB) variations of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) has been identified as an important contributor to contemporary and projected global mean sea level variations but their impact on the regional sea level change pattern is still poorly known. This study provides for the first time, consistent estimates (i.e. computed with the same models over the past -1900-2015- and over the future -2015-2100-) of GrIS SMB over 1900-2100 based on the output of 32 atmospheric-ocean General Circulation Models and Earth system models involved in the Climate Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). It is based on a downscaling technique calibrated against the MAR regional climate model in order to calculate an ensemble of 32 Greenland SMB estimates at regional scale. Because the GrIS SMB does not respond uniformly to greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. the southern part of the GrIS is more sensitive to climate warming. This study shows that it should be in imbalance in the 21st century sooner that the northern part. This regional variability affects significantly the associated relative sea level pattern over the entire ocean and particularly along the eastern coast of US and the northern coast of Europe. This highlights the necessity of taking into account GrIS regional SMB changes to evaluate accurately relative sea level changes in future projections. [less ▲]

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See detailLes essais cliniques en Belgique
RADERMECKER, Régis ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2016)

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See detailChanger le système? Pas le climat!
Ozer, Pierre ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2016)

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See detailEVALUATING THE SPECIFICITY OF [18F]UCB-H FOR THE ISOFORM SV2A, COMPARED WITH ISOFORMS SV2B AND SV2C
Serrano Navacerrada, Maria Elisa ULg; Aerts, Joël ULg; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg et al

Poster (2016, November 18)

Background: SV2A is the most studied isoform of the Synaptic Vesicle 2 proteins, which are involved in the synaptic vesicle trafficking, being important in normal and pathological process, like the ... [more ▼]

Background: SV2A is the most studied isoform of the Synaptic Vesicle 2 proteins, which are involved in the synaptic vesicle trafficking, being important in normal and pathological process, like the epilepsy (1, 2). [18F]UCB-H was developed like a tool to study the role of this isoform with neuroimaging techniques (3, 4). The objective of this study was to evaluate its specificity to this isoform comparing with the others, through a competition assay in rats with ex-vivo autoradiography and mPET imaging. Methods: Forty male Sprague-Dawley were used in ex-vivo autoradiography experiments (N=20) and in microPET imaging (N=20). Animals were pre-treated 30 minutes before the injection of [18F]UCB-H with a dose IP either of vehicle, Keppra (SV2A ligand), UCB068 (SV2B ligand) or UCB054 (SV2C ligand). Ex-vivo autoradiography was carried out 5 minutes after radiotracer injection while mPET images were acquiring with a dynamic scanner of 1 hour. Data were expressed in Standard Uptake Value and then, the area under the curve was calculated for the total process. Results: In ex-vivo autoradiography, ANOVA of two-ways showed statistical significant differences in brain uptake of [18F]UCB-H among the groups pretreated with Keppra or the ligand for SV2B and the control group. Regarding mPET data, statistical significant differences were found between the group injected with keppra and the rest of groups. Conclusion: Even if a considerable affinity between the ligands UCB068 and UCB054, and the receptor for the isoform SV2A exists, it is only detected during the first 5 minutes (ex-vivo technique), being certainly due to a nonspecific binding. This binding is not strong enough to show a direct competition with the radiotracer during a mPET acquisition. These results allow us to conclude that [18F]UCB-H is a suitable radiotracer for the imaging of the isoform SV2A in vivo, allowing us the clinical study about the molecular base of a disease with a high population impact, like the epilepsy. [less ▲]

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See detailA Journey Through Julia: A dynamic and fast language
Cuvelier, Thibaut ULg

Speech/Talk (2016)

Usually, dynamic programming languages (like Python, R, or MATLAB) are quite slow when executed, which causes performance problems in many applications. Julia is a blossoming language, both dynamic and ... [more ▼]

Usually, dynamic programming languages (like Python, R, or MATLAB) are quite slow when executed, which causes performance problems in many applications. Julia is a blossoming language, both dynamic and fast, fully open source, with a syntax that is very similar to that of MATLAB. This talk presents briefly Julia and its ecosystem. [less ▲]

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See detailDr Watson
Durand, Pascal ULg

Scientific conference (2016, November 17)

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See detailL'influence chinoise en Amérique latine : un défi stratégique pour l'Union européenne?
Wintgens, Sophie ULg

Scientific conference (2016, November 17)

L’accroissement des échanges économiques et commerciaux de la Chine avec un nombre croissant de pays d’Amérique latine va de pair avec l’imposition des normes économiques et politiques dont sa politique ... [more ▼]

L’accroissement des échanges économiques et commerciaux de la Chine avec un nombre croissant de pays d’Amérique latine va de pair avec l’imposition des normes économiques et politiques dont sa politique commerciale internationale est porteuse. Ce constat pose dès lors avec acuité la question du défi que représente cette influence normative chinoise pour la stratégie déployée par l’Union européenne (UE) envers l’Amérique latine. Afin de répondre à cette question, cet article comporte deux objectifs : (1) analyser la portée normative de la politique commerciale de la Chine en Amérique latine, afin de voir si elle est porteuse d’un projet politico-économique régional comparable au modèle d’intégration et de gouvernance régionale déployé par l’Europe communautaire dans le sous-continent latino-américain ; (2) mesurer l’influence de la production normative chinoise en Amérique latine à travers sa capacité à concurrencer les normes exportées par l’UE dans cette région du monde, en mobilisant pour ce faire le concept de « triangle Pacifique ». [less ▲]

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See detailLe facteur kurde dans les conflits au Moyen-Orient.
Bayramzadeh, Kamal ULg

Conference (2016, November 17)

Le facteur kurde dans les conflits au Moyen-Orient.. Résumé, L’objectif principal de cette communication est de montrer les enjeux politiques et sécuritaires de l’implication des Kurdes dans les conflits ... [more ▼]

Le facteur kurde dans les conflits au Moyen-Orient.. Résumé, L’objectif principal de cette communication est de montrer les enjeux politiques et sécuritaires de l’implication des Kurdes dans les conflits au Proche et au Moyen-Orient. La participation des Kurdes à la résistance à l’État islamique et leur rôle déterminant dans le conflit en Irak et en Syrie ont fortement augmenté leur poids politique. Depuis le déclenchement du conflit en Syrie la question kurde est devenue un sujet de préoccupation pour certains pays de la région qui ont peur des conséquences de la naissance d’une entité fédérale dans le Nord de la Syrie. Ceci crée un dilemme de sécurité pour la Turquie et l’Iran qui ont des convergences d’intérêt sur la question kurde. C’est pourquoi nous constatons depuis quelques mois l’intensification de la guerre entre le PKK et la Turquie et l’entrée de l’armée turque dans le Nord de la Syrie, à quoi il faut ajouter la reprise de la lutte armée du PDKI dans le Kurdistan iranien. Ce qui montre le caractère transfrontalier du facteur kurde au Moyen-Orient [less ▲]

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See detailSécurité intérieure, compétitivité, protection sociale, intégration, modèle institutionnel : La Belgique fédérale - cinq défis d'avenir pour notre pays
Behrendt, Christian ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2016)

Allocution prononcée lors de la réception solennelle donnée à l'occasion du 90e anniversaire du Rotary Club de Liège-Centre, Liège, le 17 novembre 2016.

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See detailEpidemiology and reporting of candidaemia in Belgium
Trouvé, Charlotte; Blot, Stijn; HAYETTE, Marie-Pierre ULg et al

in European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases : Official Publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology (2016)

The primary aim of this study was to collect national epidemiological data on candidaemia and to determine the reporting time of species identification and antifungal susceptibility in clinical practice ... [more ▼]

The primary aim of this study was to collect national epidemiological data on candidaemia and to determine the reporting time of species identification and antifungal susceptibility in clinical practice. During a 1-year period (March 2013 until February 2014), every first Candida isolate from each episode of candidaemia was included prospectively from 30 Belgian hospitals. Identification and susceptibility testing were performed according to local procedures and isolates were sent to the National Reference Center for Mycosis. Species identification was checked by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequencing in case no reliable identification was obtained by MALDI-TOF MS. Antifungal susceptibility testing was performed according to the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) methodology. A total of 355 isolates were retrieved from 338 patients. The mean incidence rate of candidaemia was 0.44 (range: 0.07 to 1.43) per 1000 admissions or 0.65 (range: 0.11 to 2.00) per 10,000 patient days. Candida albicans was most frequently found (50.4 %), followed by C. glabrata (27.3 %) and C. parapsilosis sensu lato (9.8 %). The overall resistance to fluconazole was 7.6 %, ranging from 3.9 % in C. albicans to 20.0 % in C. tropicalis. Only one C. glabrata isolate was resistant to the echinocandins. Four days after blood culture positivity, 99.7 % of the identifications and 90.3 % of the antifungal profiles were reported to the treating clinician. Candidaemia incidence rates differed up to 20-fold among Belgian hospitals; no clear factors explaining this difference were identified. The overall antifungal resistance rates were low but high azole resistance rates were recorded in C. tropicalis. [less ▲]

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See detailOnze thèses pour sortir du mur. Populisme, démocratie, citoyenneté
Delruelle, Edouard ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2016)

Après l’élection de Donald Trump aux États-Unis, et avant l’élection (fort possible) de Marine Le Pen en France, nous ressentons tous l’urgence de repenser à la fois nos cadres d’analyse de la société et ... [more ▼]

Après l’élection de Donald Trump aux États-Unis, et avant l’élection (fort possible) de Marine Le Pen en France, nous ressentons tous l’urgence de repenser à la fois nos cadres d’analyse de la société et nos modes d’action sur la société. Urgence, car il devient de plus en plus évident que nous ne vivons pas une « crise » (par essence passagère), mais un dérèglement généralisé (dérèglement économique, social, climatique, politique et géopolitique) qui débouche aujourd’hui sur une mise à l’épreuve de la démocratie elle-même. Selon une image que j’emprunte à Patrick Viveret : nous n’allons pas dans le mur, nous sommes dans le mur. Tous les équilibres économiques, sociaux et culturels s’effondrent.Mais en même temps, si nous sommes dans le mur, il y a peut-être autre chose à faire que de nous lamenter et désespérer : nous demander comment en sortir ! Comment sortir du mur ? Je voudrais formuler à ce sujet onze thèses. Elles tentent d’expliquer comment nous en sommes arrivés là, et comment nous pouvons opposer au populisme et au « welfare - chauvinisme » une conception renouvelée de la démocratie et de la citoyenneté sociale et laïque. [less ▲]

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See detailCarbon dioxide and vegetable oil for the synthesis of biobased polymer precursors
Alves, Margot ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Although it is a thermodynamically and kinetically stable molecule, carbon dioxide can be converted into five- and six-membered cyclic carbonates by coupling with epoxides or oxetanes, respectively, using ... [more ▼]

Although it is a thermodynamically and kinetically stable molecule, carbon dioxide can be converted into five- and six-membered cyclic carbonates by coupling with epoxides or oxetanes, respectively, using appropriate catalysts. Cyclic carbonates are used as green solvents, electrolytes for Li-ion batteries or intermediates for the synthesis of polymers. However, the catalytic performance must be further enhanced in particular for the coupling of CO2 with epoxidized vegetable oils or oxetanes. In this context, we developed a new highly efficient bicomponent homogeneous organocatalyst composed of an ammonium salt as the catalyst and fluorinated single or double hydrogen bond donors as co-catalysts. First, a screening of onium-based catalysts and hydrogen-bond donors was performed. Performances of the catalysts and optimization of the reaction was realized through detailed kinetics studies using in-situ FTIR/Raman spectroscopy under pressure. We demonstrated that fluorinated alcohols showed unexpected co-catalytic activity due to synergisms between the onium salt and fluorinated co-catalysts enabling the fast and selective addition of CO2 onto model epoxides and epoxidized vegetable oils under solvent-free and mild experimental conditions. The use of this powerful dual catalyst was then extended to the first organocatalytic coupling of CO2 with less reactive oxetanes to produce hydroxyl telechelic oligocarbonates that were used as precursor of CO2-based polyurethanes by chain-extension with a diisocyanate. In addition, a fine comprehension of the mechanisms was investigated by DFT calculations highlighting that the co-catalytic performance of the onium salt/fluorinated alcohol binary catalyst arose from the strong stabilization of the intermediates and transitions states by hydrogen-bonding. To date, through comparative studies, we evidenced that this new catalyst is one of the most performing and versatile system enabling the coupling of CO2 both with epoxides or oxetanes. [less ▲]

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