Fondation Baron Simonart

Submission deadline :
May 1st, 2020

Prize winners

Since the Foundation was created, 16 prizes have been awarded.

The latest one of a value of 10 000€ has been awarded in 2017.

Awards Ceremony

Laureat 2017-12
Laureat 2017-11
Laureat 2017-10
Laureat 2017-8


The list of prize-winners is as follows:

Year Prize Winner
2017 Dr Bernard Hanseeuw - UCL
Detecting Alzeimher's pathology before memory decline using new radiopharmaceuticals

The lesions of Alzheimer’s disease accumulate in the brain at least a decade before memory start declining. Until recently, these lesions could only be observed after autopsy. The development of specific radio-pharmaceuticals used with PET-scans now allow visualizing Alzheimer’s lesions in the brain of normal older adults, opening new research avenues including the possibility of testing preventive therapies.

Read more : Dépister et prévenir la maladie d’Alzheimer avant les pertes de mémoire : actualités et perspectives.

2014 Dr Thomas Vanassche - KUL
The role of coagulates in invasive staphylococcus aureus infections

Our coagulation system is a double-edged sword: it protects us against severe bleeding, but on the other hand, the majority of deaths in the western world are due to pathological activation of the coagulation system. This leads to the formation of blood clots that can cause heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary embolisms. It becomes increasingly evident that the coagulation system is not only important to protect us against bleeding, but also plays an important role in protecting the body from infections by bacteria. But also in this case, the same paradox applies. While blood clots can ‘trap’ bacteria and prevent their spreading, some bacteria can take advantage of the coagulation system to cause more severe infections. In our work, we study how a specific bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, uses the coagulation system to cause more severe disease. Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most frequent causes of deadly infections; more people die from infections by this bacteria than by HIV/AIDS. The number of infections by S. aureus increases every year, and even more frighteningly, the growing resistance against antibiotics makes it increasingly difficult to treat those infections. Therefore, we urgently need new therapies to be able to prevent and treat this major healthcare challenge.

By better understanding how S. aureus misuses our coagulation system when it causes an infection, we can develop strategies that prevent this. In our work, we have shown that we can ‘disarm’ this dangerous bacteria by preventing its many interactions with the coagulation system. This was studied in various animal infection models, and the research continues in a clinical trial. Together with antibiotics, an approach that reduces the infectivity by preventing dangerous activation of coagulation can lead to new and more effective treatments for an important and increasing societal challenge.

2011 Dr Philip Van Damme - KUL
Frontotemporal dementia caused by Progranulin mutations, treatable neurodegenerative disorders?

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by neuronal death in the frontal and temporal lobes. The presenting symptoms include behavioral changes and/or language dysfunctions. Mutations in the gene encoding progranulin are a frequent cause of familial FTD with TDP-43 neuropathology. Progranulin supports neuronal survival and mutations in the progranulin gene induce shortage of progranulin. It is therefore expected that progranulin therapy will be beneficial for this form of FTD and possibly for other TDP-43 proteinopathies.

2008 Dr Emmanuel HERMANS - UCL
'Pharmacological modulation of glial glutamate uptake: manipulating the cross-talks between neuroinflammation and excitotoxicity to treat neurological disorders'

In the context of degenerative or lesional diseases of the nervous system, we study the influence of inflammatory processes on the excitatory communication between neurons. Our research programs aim at developing new therapeutic approaches that would modulate inflammation originating from glial cells and affecting glutamate transmission.


'Role and Therapeutic Potential of VEGF in Motor Neuron Degeneration : a Study in Transgenic Mice and Rats'

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motorneurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting, ultimately leading to complete paralysis and death. We have investigated the role and therapeutic potential of the angiogenic factor VEGF in the pathogenesis of ALS. We could show that reducing VEGF levels in mice results in motor neuron degeneration, which is at least in part due to insufficient direct neuroprotective effects of VEGF on motor neurons. Furthermore, increasing VEGF levels in mouse and rat models of ALS, either by viral gene transfer or by VEGF protein administration, results in therapeutic effects in these preclinical models, with improved motor performance and increased life span.

2002 Dr Stéphane EECKHOUDT -UCL
'Contribution du CYP3A intestinal dans la métabolisation du midazolam chez le rat'
1999 Dr Jan TACK - KUL
'The Physiology, pharmacology and therapeutic potential of 5 – HT1 receptors in the gastro intestinal tract
1996 Dr Marleen DEPRE - KUL
1993 Dr Hans DECKMYN - KUL
'Contribution to the development of an effective antiplatelet drug'
1990 Dr Yves HORSMANS - UCL
'Détermination des shunts porto-systémiques chez l’homme par un test non invasif au d-propylène'
1987 Dr Vincent LECLERCQ - UCL
'Pharmacologie clinique de l’induction de l’inhibition enzymatique chez des sujets hydroxylateurs déficients'
'Pharmacokinetic drug interactions in man'

The work ""Pharmacokinetic Drug Interactions in Man", A theoretical approach and experimental studies", reports a number of in vivo pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions. Pharmacokinetic interactions involve changes in the processes of transport of a drug towards and removal from its site of action. Underlying mechanisms such as inhibition of oxidative biotransformation, displacement from protein and inhibition of tubular secretion are described.

1981 Dr Jean-Pierre DESAGER - UCL
'Pharmacocinétique du Fénofibrate – Contribution à l’étude de sa pharmacologie clinique'
1978 Dr Réginald HULHOVEN - UCL
'Etude pharmacocinétique de la Daunorubicine libre et complexé à l’ADN chez le lapin et en clinique humaine'
'Cardiovascular and renal effects of L-dopa : a clinical pharmacological investigation'
1972 Dr Frank BARO  - KUL
'Psychopharmacological research versus treatment'
The next one of a value of 10 000€ will be awarded in 2014
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