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 prof. dr. Bart Neyns (head of Medical Oncology) and prof. dr. 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.