Born in 1921, Lise Thiry (https://belsocmicrobio.be/famous-belgian-microbiologists/lise-thiry/) passed away January 16th 2024, at the respectable age of 102! A time to remember her astonishing commitments, whether scientific, political or social, at a time when not everyone paid attention to women speaking. From 1947 she worked at the Institut Pasteur in Brussels, where she set up the Virology laboratory in 1952. Alongside many fundamental discoveries, her lab developed diagnostic tests for the detection of a number of viruses (e.g. scarlet fever, mumps, poliomyelitis, VRS, adenovirus, HIV). In 1985, she detected HIV particles in the milk of mothers from Rwanda, identifying a route of transmission and raising, for the first time, doubts about the universally accepted benefits of breastfeeding. In addition to her brilliant scientific career, in the early seventies, Lise started a political career at the socialist party. In 1985, she received the title of “Woman of the year” and became a member of the Senate. In 1990, she was part of the commission in charge of evaluating the impact of the new law legalizing abortion. She championed the rights of asylum seekers, and other excluded people. Besides her scientific publications, she wrote a series of books, including “Conversations avec des clandestins” (ISBN 978-2-87267-064-2, unfortunately not translated).
We present our condolences to her family. She keeps showing us the way to dedicating scientific research to the benefit of people and society.
Mini-symposium organized on February 23 (2 pm) at KU Leuven (Aula van de Tweede Hoofdwet, Kasteelpark Arenberg 41, Leuven). See leaflet for more info.
It is with deep sadness that we inform you that our colleague and friend Pierre Cornelis passed away on Saturday December 2nd. Pierre was Honorary member of BSM. Click on this link for an obituary written by VUB colleague Eddy Van Driessche. We would like to express our condolences to Pierre’s family, friends and colleagues.
The Young BSM board was established two years ago and consists of Belgium-based early career microbiology scientists with a passion for science communication. Our goal is to bring microbiology to the public through the organization of outreach activities.
Currently, the YBSM Board is looking for applicants who can strengthen the team with their talents of being a secretary, media curator, illustrator and/or else. We are looking for pro-active candidates who are interested in shaping what it means to do scientific outreach and defining our next goals. As a board, we are committed to represent the whole Belgian microbiology community, therefore we specifically urge young microbiologists from the French-speaking part of Belgium to apply.
Hence, if you are a BSM member and an early career scientist and you have an interest in science communication, committed to proactively participate and attend at least 6 meetings annually, don’t hesitate to apply by filling in the following form: https://forms.office.com/e/BFYvnRkur2. Applications will be accepted until 18/12/2023.
Thee 18th Congress of the International Union of Microbiological Societies – IUMS 2024 will take place on 23 – 25 October in Florence, Italy.
The IUMS 2024 Congress will bring together scientists from various fields of microbiology, including Bacteriology, Virology, and Mycology, to exchange knowledge, share recent advancements, and explore future perspectives in the field. https://iums2024.com/.
The 5th de Duve Lecture, which will be given by Professor Pascale COSSART, who will enlighten us on the molecular and cellular bases of bacterial infections. The lecture will take place on Thursday, 14 December at 17:30, in the auditorium A (Lacroix) on the UCLouvain Health Sciences campus in Brussels. It will be followed by a reception.
Professor Pascale Cossart is a pioneering figure in Cellular Microbiology, renowned for her groundbreaking work. She holds a PhD from the Pasteur Institute in Paris and has directed the Bacteria-Cell Interactions unit. Her research journey began with studying DNA-protein interactions, but in 1986, she shifted her focus to investigate the molecular and cellular aspects of bacterial infections, using Listeria monocytogenes as a model. Cossart’s work has yielded groundbreaking insights into how Listeria monocytogenes crosses the intestinal and feto-placental barriers, its actin-based motility within host cells, and novel mechanisms governing gene expression through RNAs. Her research also highlights the role of mitochondria in infection and host post-translational modifications, like histone modifications, influencing infection outcomes. Her contributions have garnered international recognition, with prestigious awards including the L’Oréal/Unesco award, the Robert Koch prize, the Jeantet prize, and the Balzan prize. She is a member of several prominent academies, such as the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine (USA), the Royal Society (UK), and the French Academy of Sciences, where she served as Perpetual Secretary. Currently, she holds the position of visitor at EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany.