The Fondation pour la science is a non-profit, private entity. Its aim is to promote the Weizmann Institute of Science in Belgium and to support its research projects via appropriate public relations activities as well as selective fund raising, in particular in the form of sponsorships, donations and legacies.

One of the Foundation’s regular activites is the sponsoring of promising students attending Belgian secondary schools, who qualify for participation in the annual 4 weeks International Scientific Summer School (ISSI) on the Weizmann Institute of Science campus, before continuing their tertiary education in science. This year two promising young women have been selected.

The Foundation is chaired by Mr Christian Hendboeg.
Mrs Diane Culer, Prof. Pierre Klees, Prof Maurice Sosnowski, Mr Paul de Schietere de Lophem, Mr Eric Hemeleers and Mr Roland Louis are directors.
The Belgian Foundation was founded in 2006, replacing the Belgian Committee, which had been established in 1973 by Prof. Georges Schnek, who also served as the first Secretary General until 1979. He was succeeded by Mr Louis Culer, who held this position for 20 years until 1999, followed by Prof. Marc van Montagu until June 2006.

Among the former Chairmen of the Committee were the former Belgian Prime Minister Theo Lefèvre (1973-1975), Prof. Piet de Somer, Rector of the “Katolieke Universiteit Leuven” (1975-1980) and Prof. Jean Brachet (1980-1972). Two Nobel Laureates, Prof. Christian de Duve and Prof. Ilya Prigogine, were members of the Academic Council.

Two Steps Ahead of the Coronavirus

A method of predicting the coronavirus spread, pioneered and developed by Weizmann Institute scientists, may enable the authorities to focus efforts on areas where an outbreak is anticipated – and relieve measures taken in others


Gush Dan Neighborhoods: Average COVID-19 associated symptoms region map. City municipal regions with at least 30 responders and neighborhoods with at least 10 responders are shown. Each region is colored by a category defined by the average symptoms ratio, calculated by averaging the reported symptoms rate by responders in that city or neighborhood. Green – low symptoms rate, red – high symptoms rate

The Weizmann Institute of Science is Exploring Ways to Assist with Coronavirus Testing

The Weizmann Institute of Science is Exploring Ways to Assist with Coronavirus Testing


Credit: Naeblys/Getty Images

In light of the severe constraints in performing a sufficient amount of coronavirus tests in Israel, the Weizmann Institute of Science decided to contribute significantly to the national mission and use its advanced laboratories to perform coronavirus tests. In parallel, Weizmann Institute scientists are developing an advanced and very efficient testing approach with a significantly reduced risk.

How do viruses infect?

Deciphering the dynamic that hijacks our health


DATE: MARCH 12, 2020

Viruses are hijackers. When they infect a cell, they take over that cell’s protein-making machinery, causing it to produce the viral proteins that allow infection to successfully accelerate and spread. And as has been seen in the recent outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), just labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization, a successful virus can be very dangerous indeed.

Follow up: Blood Test Shown to Reveal Lung Cancer Risk

The test could be a life-saver if routinely administered


Drawing: Dr. Tamar Paz-Elizur

Several years ago the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Prof. Zvi Livneh and his group proposed a blood test for three markers for DNA repair to be used to calculate a “personalized DNA repair score” indicating the chances of an individual developing lung cancer. In a recent study involving British patients, the scientists examined 150 individuals with non-small-cell lung cancer, and compared their results with those of 143 healthy controls. The DNA repair score of study participants with lung cancer was demonstrably lower than the control group across the board, establishing this activity as a robust biomarker for lung cancer risk ‒ independently of smoking. These results validated a previous study by his group in an Israeli population, showing that the new approach could potentially be implemented for more effective lung cancer screening worldwide.

Marine Biomass: The Life that Stays Small, Lives Fast, Dies Young

A new census asks why the oceans have so little biomass compared to land, and shows how small marine producers pull their weight


Coral is made of two symbiotic organisms: It is both a biomass primary producer and a consumer

If you took all the fish in the ocean and weighed them, how much biomass would that be? Now add all the crabs and herring, the tiny krill and the giant whales that feed on them, the marine bacteria and plankton. That is still far below the biomass on land, and a new census of life in the ocean ‒ by dry weight ‒ provides some clues as to why this came to be. The insights emerging from an analysis performed at the Weizmann Institute of Science may help researchers understand, among other things, how carbon gets absorbed and fixed in the ocean’s biomass and how future changes may affect that biomass. The findings of this study were recently published in Cell.