Life sciences

Research pole

The LIFE research pole represents the biomedical pillar of research within Belgian Defence with the global research goals of sustaining and optimizing health and performance of all the operational personnel of the Belgian Defence.

Research units

Research Unit VIPER

Poc: Prof. Nathalie Pattyn, MD, PhD

VIPER stands for Vital Signs and PERformance monitoring.

VIPER is a multidisciplinary research unit bridging engineering and life sciences to investigate Human Factors from an integrative perspective. It conducts research in the field of human factors in extreme environments and provides expertise in the field of tailored performance management, remote health care and methodological guidance for research projects.

Center for Applied Molecular Technologies (CTMA)

Poc: Cdt Ir Steven Verberckmoes

The "Centre de Technologies Moléculaires Appliquées (CTMA - Centre for Applied Molecular Technologies)" is a mixed academic-clinical-military biotechnological platform involving 3 partners : UCL/IREC (Université catholique de Louvain/Institut de recherche expérimentale et clinique), Belgian Ministry of Defence (Defence Laboratory Department (DLD)) and CUSL (Cliniques Universitaires St Luc). The main goal of CTMA is to develop and validate dual-use molecular and genetic prognostic and diagnostic tools and methods, allowing rapid molecular identification of pathogens, mapping of resistance patterns of pathogens and discovery of molecular and genetic mechanisms of diseases (either inflammatory of neoplastic).

The Laboratory for Molecular and Cellular Technologies

Poc: Dr Jean-Paul Pirnay

Scientific research at the Lab MCT is centered around the development of skin substitutes, the enhancement of the quality and the security of skin grafts and keratinocytes, molecular epidemiology of antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing burn wound infections and phagotherapy.

The Cell for Evaluation, Prevention, Research and Development of the Centre of Musculoskeletal Medicine & Rehabilitation

Poc: LtKol Damien Van Tiggelen, PhD

The research conducted by this team is mainly in the area of risk factors of overuse injuries in military personnel, prevention of those injuries and also the assessment of the efficiency and efficacy of the treatment of those injuries. The research area is mainly focused on military-specific injuries

Research Unit Infectious Diseases

Poc: LtKol Patrick Soentjens, MD

The past few years saw pioneering research with large clinical trials on alternative intradermal vaccine schedules with microdosisses of existing rabies vaccines with impact on WHO and national guidelines. The research portfolio investigating novel ways to vaccinate subjects with new or alternative regimens of new or existing vaccines.
In addition, the team in the Military Hospital participated together with the University of Antwerp in the polio eradication vaccine trials sponsored by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation.
Other research interests are schistosomiasis, strongyloidosis, travellers’diarrhea, and phage therapy in humans.

Centre for Mental Health

Poc: Maj Jeroen Van den Bossche

The Centre for Mental Health is responsible for the military psychosocial management of victims after potentially traumatic events (PTE) (Centre for Crisis Psychology) and for the outpatient psychotherapeutic treatment of those victims in the aftermath of PTE’s and of all military and civil personnel in the Department of Defense in general.