About CBI

About CBI

In 2013 and under stimulance of the IOF research & innovation managers active in the field of chemical biology a chemistry cluster has been set-up, which covers the extensive chemical expertise present in Flanders (UA, KU Leuven, UGent, UHasselt and VUB), in order to link the academic chemistry research with the biology community. This initiative has been coined with the name of Chemistry to Foster Biology Innovation (CBI). The interest of CBI is not limited to classical drug discovery approaches, but will also focus on innovative chemical tool development and evaluation. In addition, both human and plant research will be supported. CBI has expertise in specific organic syntheses, chemical tool development and chemistry technologies. CBI is also active in specific target domains such as proteases, kinases, and protein-protein interaction and covalent binders. At CBI, analytical and chemistry equipment (NMR, LC, GC, MS...) is available to perform state of the art chemical research. Twenty professors and more than 200 chemists are active in the CBI consortium . 

Operational management board:

J. Joossens  (UA) holds a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Medicinal Chemistry) from the University of Antwerp and carried out industrial postdoctoral research in the Oncology medicinal chemistry department of J&J. He has been research & innovation manager since 2007 (IOF-fellow).  He is co-founder of ADDN and program manager of multiple national and international collaborative networks. Extensive experience with contract negotiations and academic-industrial collaboration. He is the initiator and project leader of the UA ELN project (2007-to date). In 2012 he initiated the CBI project. Currently, he is setting up a chemical biology oriented protease platform at UA.

S. De Jonghe (KU Leuven) holds a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Gent and carried out industrial postdoctoral research in the antiviral chemistry department of Gilead Sciences. He has been working as medicinal chemist at 4AZA Bioscience and Elbion Bioscience, mainly in the therapeutic fields of immunology, virology and CNS diseases. Since 2010, he is affiliated to the Laboratory of Medicinal Chemistry at the KU Leuven, as Industrial Research Manager. In this role, he is responsible for the valorization activities of the group, including fund raising (via IWT, EU and Industrial Research Fund channels), IP management and bilateral research agreements/licensing agreements with pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

A. Van Den Bulcke  (UGent) holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry (Polymer Synthesis) and has an industrial career in product development and R&D management. In 2011 she started as Business Developer at ChemTech, the Chemistry Business and Valorisation cluster at Ghent University supporting 14 research groups active in (Bio)Organic Synthesis, Polymer Chemistry, Anorganic research and Advanced Analytical Chemistry.  She has experience in creating valorization opportunities, she facilitates and coordinates setting up industrial collaborations, manages a strategic IP portfolio, negotiates its licensing opportunities or coordinates spin-off creation.

S. Sergeyev (UA) holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He was involved in various research projects at ETH Zurich and at the ULB in Brussels before starting his current job of IOF Research and Innovation Manager at the University of Antwerp in 2009. He is associated with the consortium Organica, which comprises a broad range of expertise in organic, inorganic and materials chemistry, molecular spectroscopy and computational chemistry. His major task is valorization of this know-how via industrial collaborations, patents and licensing, and participation in integrated collaborative project at both national and European level.

D. De Groote (UGent) is an experienced technology professional with profound skills in business development, R&D partnering, IP management, licensing and spinout creation. He currently heads UGent Discovere, the drug discovery platform of Ghent  University supporting researchers with early drug discovery (target validation, hit screening & pharmacological evaluation, formulation, in vivo proof-of-concept studies) and business development. Dominic holds a PhD in veterinary medicine and is a registered technology transfer professional (RTTP).


Steering committee:

CBI has delegated two professors of each university of which K. Augustyns (UA) will be the spokesperson.

K. Augustyns (UA). The leading and coordinating capacities of K. Augustyns are emphasized through his current position as chair of the Medicinal and Bioorganic Chemistry Division of the Royal Flemish Chemical Society (KVCV), and his election as next President of the Council of the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC). He is currently involved in several European projects, an IWT-SBO project and two Hercules projects (NMR and compound purification platform). His main expertise is covering protease inhibitors, covalent binders and activity-based probe technology.

B. Maes (UA) has considerable experience in the management of research infrastructure (co-promoter of four Hercules grants for NMR, compound purification platform, LC-MS, ion mobility equipment). He is currently involved in the following large scale collaborative research projects: IWT SBO ‘FunMem4 Affinity’ and European IMI ‘CHEM21’. His main expertise is directed toward C-H functionalization and sustainable catalysis.

P. Herdewijn (KU Leuven) has ample experience with managing research infrastructures, as exemplified by two Hercules projects (NMR and LC-MS). Moreover he received an ERC advanced grant. His main expertise is situated in the field of synthesis of nucleosides, oligonucleotides, heterocyclic compounds, carbohydrates, amino acids and peptides

W. Dehaen (KU Leuven) is an expert in heterocyclic chemistry, promoter of a Hercules project (NMR) and a member of the Medicinal and Bioorganic Chemistry Division of the Royal Flemish Chemical Society (KVCV). He is involved as co-promoter in GOA-, IUAP- and IWT-SBO projects.

C. Stevens (UGent) is head of the SynBioC research group and director of the UGent Center of Renewable Resources. He is co-promotor of several EU-projects, two IWT-SBO projects and two Hercules projects. He is editor of two international journals and member of the editorial board of several others. From his research a spin-off company has recently been created. He is founding member of the Renewable Resources and Biorefineries Society. His expertise is situated in the field of synthesis of natural compound analogues and microreactor technology.

J. Van der Eycken (UGent,) is co-promoter of a Hercules project (single crystal XR-analysis). He is also responsible for 4 GC-MS, 2 LC-MS and 1 LC-HRMS-TOF instruments. He participated in an IWT-SBO project and is currently co-promoter of an IAP project. He also has experience with IWT-O&O projects (2 finished, 2 ongoing). His expertise is situated in the field of total synthesis of complex natural products, privileged scaffolds and novel ligands for asymmetric transition metal catalysis.

G. Verniest (VUB) is leading a research team at the Group of Organic Chemistry (ORGC) focused on developing new synthetic methods. He is (co-)promoter of projects with industry, IWT and FWO and has experience with managing lab equipment.  

S. Ballet (VUB) is also a team leader ORGC. Together with G. Verniest, he is responsible for the management of the ORGC infrastructure (NMR, LC-MS and HPLC instruments). He is also promoter of several ongoing FWO and IWT projects. He has expertise in the development of conformationally constrained amino acid derivatives, (cyclo)peptidomimetics and the stabilization of biologically active peptides