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Our academic authorities are reshaping the university landscape. It will now officially include “Interdisciplinary Research Units” comprising members of several faculties. This trend, in essence, follows

the example of what GIGA has been standing for since 2007. “Interdisciplinary Research Units” that are officially recognized as such will benefit from direct funding from the university starting 2017. This

initiative is welcomed by GIGA as it consolidates and rationalizes research activities in our university. It is essential to maintain national and international competitiveness. Under the leadership of Director

Jacques Piette, GIGA has taken advantage of this movement to further strengthen and streamline the organization of GIGA-R, our own research arm.

First of all, several new laboratories have integrated GIGA. The COMA Science Group (Dr. Steven Laureys), already joined GIGA in 2015. COMA’s move will now be followed by that of the entire Cyclotron

Research Center (CRC) and its 50 members. We are absolutely thrilled by this merger as COMA/CRC brings world-class and complementary expertise in neurosciences to our center. Also joining GIGA

is the Biomechanics Research Unit of the ERC-laureate Liesbeth Geris. We are delighted to have the Faculty of Engineering empowering GIGA with some of its most active laboratories to mutual benefit.

Secondly, to accommodate these new arrivals, adjust to internal changes since GIGA’s inception, and align our priorities with those of the emerging “Health Pole”, GIGA has re-crafted its Thematic Units.

Starting 2016, GIGA-R’s landscape will exhibit eight such units :

Cancer, Cardiovascular Sciences, CRC-In Vivo Imaging, In silico Medicine, Immunity, Infection & Inflammation, Molecular Biology of

Diseases, Neurosciences.

GIGA’s breath of expertise is now larger, its interdisciplinary composition reaffirmed, the research focus enhanced, and the stage set for closer interactions. Several initiatives to further empower the

GIGA community are in the works. Catherine Sadzot’s team is setting new objectives for the operation of the administrative and platform teams. Marilou Ramos Pamplona is animating a cell to support

researchers in grant writing and submission. We hope to rapidly define the program and modus operandi of a new GIGA Graduate School.

Striving for excellence in biomedical sciences in the Walloon Region in 2016 is a tough, every day battle. Let us be smart and pull together to achieve our common goals. We’ll need everybody’s skills

and talents!

Michel Georges, GIGA-Research Director


GIGA landscape revisited