Class of Excellence

Professor Peter Vekilov, the Francqui International Professor 2014-2015, will give a series of lectures in the framework of a Class of Excellence. The inaugural lecture will focus on the mechanisms of nucleation of crystals in solution, an event that governs physiological and pathophysiological processes and laboratory and industrial procedures. The most exciting recent advance in this area is the multistep crystal nucleation mechanism, which displaces classical concepts in force for more than 100 years. The common theme of the other topics to be covered in this series is understanding of the properties of the solute molecules and their interaction with the solvent as a key to understanding and control of nucleation and growth of crystals in vitro and in vivo.

Lecture: Molecular Mechanisms of Hematin Crystallization and Inhibition

  • On the 22nd of May, at 13.00 am
  • Room E0.07 on campus Etterbeek

Symposium on the aggregation of biological molecules: how physical chemistry illuminates physiology and pathophysiology

  • From the 4th until the 6th of June on campus Etterbeek
  • 13 renowned speakers


Discover the programme

Inaugural lecture - 3rd March 2015 at 11.00 am, Promotion Hall (D2.01) on campus Etterbeek

  • Introduction of the International Chair by Prof. Pierre van Moerbeke, Executive Director of the Francqui Foundation
  • Welcome by Prof. Patrick De Baetselier, Vice-rector of Research VUB
  • Non-Classical Nucleation of  Crystals, inaugural lecture by Prof. Peter Vekilov, Chair holder, University of Houston,  USA
  • Concluding remarks by Prof. Dominique Maes, promotor, Bio-engineering Department VUB
  • Reception

Series of lectures

  • Hematin crystallization as a part of malaria pathophysiology.  
  • The mechanism for insulin storage in crystals in vivo. 
  • The physical chemistry of sickle cell anemia.

The two-step mechanism of nucleation of protein crystal.
  • The molecular mechanisms of growth of crystals in solution.
  • The properties of the protein-rich clusters and two-step nucleation of protein crystals.

The International Francqui Chair is organized under the auspices of the Bio-engineering Department of the VUB, in collaboration with the ULB and UNamur
More information: Prof. Dominique Maes, promotor