GEAR: Brussels Liver Research to Valorisation Alliance (B-Liver): Valorisation of VUB’s liver cell biology and toxicology expertise via a consortium focused on liver therapeutics, patient and consumer safety.

Project Details


The liver is an essential organ for human health, regulating amongst other the homeostasis of cholesterol and lipids, and the breakdown of foreign (xenobiotic), potentially toxic compounds, including pharmaceuticals. As such, any alterations in liver cell biology provoked by genetic factors, exposure to pathogens, or even due to an unhealthy lifestyle, can have serious health consequences. Taken together, liver pathologies significantly contribute to global morbidity and mortality burdens. At present, approximately 70.000 European citizens die from chronic liver disease every year, a figure that is predicted to rise with the growing pandemic of obesity-related morbidities. This drives the need to understand the breadth of liver pathologies, both inherited (through genetic factors) or induced (in response to toxicants or unhealthy lifestyle) to uncover how to avoid or treat them. This goal requires the implementation of i) innovative in vitro models that allow predictive investigations of human liver cell biology and toxicology, and ii) flexible liver-focused technologies on which new therapeutic strategies can be built. In addition, the industries wherein these technologies can be implemented must also adhere/respond to societal drivers, among them the regulatory initiatives that encourage non-animal-based research for human outcomes, a sentiment also echoed by the wider public. The translation of both liver cell biology, pathology and toxicology research, within this context, towards implementable and impactful outcomes for both industry and society is at the core of the Brussels Liver Research to Valorisation Alliance (B-Liver).
The B-Liver’s mission is grounded in proven expertise in liver cell biology, pathology and toxicology, which enables the consortium to also extend into higher-risk emerging innovations in the field of liver therapeutics and diagnostics. Stemming from the consortium partners’ diverse expertise, we propose three valorisation lines, which represent horizontal platforms across the consortiums established and emerging research:
1) HepaSCREEN: To capitalize a diverse pool of liver based in vitro models, encompassing various cell types, from multiple sources, in different configurations, all with a common goal to develop better models and tools for toxicity and disease prediction, and to develop new therapeutic strategies for liver pathology.
2) EvoMED: Here the B-Liver consortium endeavours to extend beyond the known market drivers to create a new pipeline of innovative technologies that can fill specific, as yet unidentified niches in the field of inherited metabolic disorders.
3) Public Health and 3R-alternative methods: The toxicology and 3R aspects (Reduction, Replacement, Refinement) of the consortium’s activities also finds impact in a societal context. To this end, the need to ensure safety for both patients and consumers, in addition to regulatory drivers, underlie the public health aspects of B-Liver. Here we strive for a structured emphasis on existing expertise and established valorisation channels to support both economic and societal impact..
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/12/24


  • liver
  • cell biology

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Molecular and cell biology not elsewhere classified


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.