VUB launches chair with Alex Agnew

VUB launches chair with Alex Agnew

Comedian raises €100,000 to support cancer research at Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Tuesday 3 October 2023 – On 9 October, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is launching a new chair in the name of comedian Alex Agnew, whose theatre tour raised €100,000 for the VUB Yamina Krossa Fund for breast cancer research. That funding will enable Prof Damya Laoui and her team to carry out fundamental research into a vaccine against relapse and metastasis over the next two years. The chair is named after Agnew in recognition of his contribution.

Alex Agnew met the fund’s founder, Yamina Krossa, and VUB-VIB professor Damya Laoui while recording his podcast Welcome to the AA. The subject was important to him, because the wife of his colleague Andries Beckers had suffered from breast cancer. Yamina’s enthusiasm inspired him to do more: for every ticket sold to his Wake Me Up When It’s Over tour, he would donate €1 to the VUB Yamina Krossa Fund. Eighteen months later, he’s raised €100,000 for cancer research.

“I’ve been very lucky in my life. So it was time to give something back,” says Agnew. “Damya and Yamina are two great women who I’m happy to support in their dream of eliminating breast cancer.”
Alex Agnew and Yamina Krossa
Alex Agnew and Yamina Krossa

Programme of presentation of Alex Agnew chair x Yamina Krossa Fund for breast cancer research, Monday 9 October 2023

  • 16.30: Welcome
  • 17.00: Start of programme
  • 17.05: Video message from the rector
  • 17.10: Speech by vice-rector Innovation & Valorisation Hugo Thienpont
  • 17.15: Interview with founder Yamina Krossa and patron Alex Agnew
  • 17.35: Presentation of cancer research by Prof Damya Laoui and researcher Elly Marcq
  • 17.55: Q&A
  • 18.05: Ceremonial signing of the chair
  • 18.10: Reception


VUB Main Campus Etterbeek
​Entrance 9, Generaal Jacqueslaan, 1050 Elsene

Would you like to attend or arrange an interview?

Tours of the lab on the VUB campus, reportage and live interviews with Yamina Krossa and Damya Laoui are possible on 6 October. To organise these, please contact Damya Laoui or Yamina Krossa.

Interviews with Yamina Krossa, Damya Laoui and Alex Agnew are possible on 9 October between 15.00 and 16.30. To organise, please contact spokesperson Nathalie Vlaemynck (

About the VUB Foundation

The VUB Foundation manages the Yamina Krossa Fund and raises philanthropic funds from businesses, organisations, institutions and individuals. It does so in the framework of the TechTransfer service of the vice-rectorate for Innovation and Valorisation. The foundation’s policy is based on the belief that every philanthropic gift creates a social return. Everyone’s contribution supports education, research, innovation or the VUB estate, with the resulting knowledge and insights flowing back into society.

More information

Nathalie Vlaemynck
Nathalie Vlaemynck TIJDELIJK AFWEZIG - Woordvoerder en algemeen perscontact
About Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel

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.

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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.


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