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Research Topics
(University of Antwerp)
This publication provides an updated overview of the various topics on which research is conducted at the University of Antwerp.

The publication consists of three volumes :
1) Natural Sciences
2) Biomedical Sciences
3) Humanities and social sciences

A 4th volume on research topics at the "Hogescholen" (University Colleges) of the Antwerp University Association is also available.

The research topics may also be consulted online on the websites of the University of Antwerp and of the Hogescholen.

The University of Antwerpen houses centres of research excellence in nanotechnology, in molecular neurogenetics (department of the Flemish Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology - VIB), on environmental studies and on social policy. Each of these centres clusters some research teams active in neighbouring fields of science, joining high quality basic research to a certain critical mass in staff and ongoing research programmes. They are all headed by a spokesperson, a senior member of our academic staff, leading one of the composing research teams.

The Centre for Nanostructures is lead by prof. dr. Staf VAN TENDELOO. The emergence of new and unexpected properties and processes in nanostructures creates an urgent need for theoretical modelling and large-scale computer simulation in order to understand, control and accelerate the development. In order to strengthen its position in this competitive research field and to focus its investments, the UA has integrated the groups on condensed matter theory, modelling and electron microscopy for materials science into a centre of excellence for nanostructures. 

The Centre on Molecular Neurogenetics is headed by prof. dr. Christine VAN BROECKHOVEN. The research is focused on molecular genetic analysis of complex neurological and psychiatric diseases in humans. Subgroups are active in the field of Neurogenetics, Peripheral Neuropathies and Psychiatric Genetics. Major research interest focuses on Alzheimer disease, idiopathic epilepsies, Parkinson disease, Creutzfeld-Jacob disease, Charcot Marie-Tooth neuropathy and bipolar disorders. All these diseases are multi-factorial in nature i.e. they are expressed due to the interplay of genes and environment. Research is aimed at identifying causative genes and susceptibility genes for the above-mentioned diseases, using different genetic methods based on molecular genetic and genetic epidemiological approaches. 

The Centre on Environmental Studies is conducted by prof. dr. Reinhart CEULEMANS. It is active as well in terrestrial ecology as in studies on marine and fluvial environment, with strong focus on animal ecophysiology. The common theme is concerned with the study of effects of changes in the abiotic factors on ecological systems, on health and behaviour, on cultural heritage. The centre studies the interrelation between causes (changes in environment, stress) and consequences (ecophysiological and chemical responses at several organisational levels) 

The Centre for Social Policy Research is headed by prof. dr. Bea CANTILLON. Its research is characterised by its empirical and multi-disciplinary approach. Thematically it focuses on the functioning and the efficiency of social policy as far as social security, taxes, education, labour, health, housing and well-being are involved in its interaction with socio-economical and demographic changes in society. From a methodological view point national and international data surveys are studies, combining them with administrative databases as sources for subsequent analysis.

Besides for these the University of Antwerpen has a leading role in interuniversity programmes on neuro-endocrine interactions in the gastrointestinal pathway, medical microbiology, medical electronics. For policy-oriented research the UA leads in the domains of environmental policy sciences, environment and health, public policy sciences, education and labour market policy and equal opportunities policy.

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