Laureates BiR&D Cross-Disciplinary PhD Award 2021

Each year, on the initiative of BiR&D, the FWO and the FNRS organise the BiR&D Cross-Disciplinary PhD Thesis Awards, in recognition of a PhD thesis that presents an original and cross-disciplinary contribution with potential industrial valorisation and societal relevance.. In 2021, four prizes were awarded, two in the domain of "Life & Health Sciences" and two in the domain of "Science & Technology". The FWO laureates of these prizes are pleased to present their research below.

Rhea Verbeke: Epoxide-based membranes for sustainable desalination

Finding solutions to overcome water scarcity is a key challenge of the 21st century, given that half of the global population will live in water-stressed regions by 2050 (including Belgium).

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Mats de Jong: Putting a hold on illicit drug trafficking with portable electrochemical strategies

The trafficking and (ab)use of illicit drugs represents a serious threat to the well-being of society, with severe health, economic, and political implications. Belgium plays a central role in Europe’s drug issues.

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Paweł Bieniasz-Krzywiec: Innate Immunity and the Quest for New Cancer Treatments

Cancer is a disease with a major impact on societies globally, both in terms of psychological burden and economic costs. With the decline in mortality from infections, it has become the second most common cause of death, topped only by cardiovascular disorders.

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