Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

KU Leuven boasts a rich tradition of education and research that dates back six centuries. The university’s basic research orientation has always been and will remain fundamental research. At the same time, the university remains vigilantly open to contemporary cultural, economic and industrial realities, as well as to the community’s needs and expectations. From a basis of social responsibility and scientific expertise, KU Leuven provides high-quality, comprehensive health care, including specialised tertiary care, in its University Hospitals. In doing so it strives toward optimum accessibility and respect for all patients.

KU Leuven is currently by far the largest university in Belgium in terms of research funding and expenditure (€ 650 million in 2022), and is a charter member of LERU. KU Leuven conducts fundamental and applied research in all academic disciplines with a clear international orientation. In the Times Higher Education ranking KU Leuven is ranked as the 14h European university, while in the Reuters Top 100 of the World’s most innovative institutions (until 2019), KU Leuven was listed as the first European university, for four year in a row.

In Horizon 2020, KU Leuven was granted 669 projects (€ 378,5 million), ranking fourth HES institution with regard to number of signed grants. KU Leuven takes up the 14th place of European HES institutions hosting ERC grants (as first legal signatories of the grant agreement, ERC annual report 2021). The over 100 ERC grants since 2007 involving KU Leuven researchers, (including affiliates with VIB and IMEC) confirm that KU Leuven is a breeding ground and attractive destination for the world’s best researchers. Its success in the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions is a manifestation of the three pillars of KU Leuven: research, education and service to society. In Horizon 2020, we were involved in 126 Innovative Training Networks, ranking us first institution of higher education with regard to number of MSCA-ITNs. In the first years of Horizon Europe (data March 2023), KU Leuven takes the lead as the institution of higher education with the highest number of signed contracts (162, worth € 91,8 million).

Not including University Hospitals Leuven (the network of KU Leuven university hospitals), as of 2021 KU Leuven employs 13 196 people, including 7 988 researchers. To strengthen international collaboration, KU Leuven has its own international research fellowship programme and supports international scholars in international funding applications. KU Leuven Research & Development (LRD) is the technology transfer office (TTO) of the KU Leuven. Since 1972 a multidisciplinary team of experts guides researchers in their interaction with industry and society, and the valorisation of their research results (in 2021, 160 patents were granted and a license-income of € 130 million was obtained by KU Leuven) .

Role in the project

Researchers from KU Leuven will be active in all work packages. We will contribute to the project with our expertise in radiology/CT imaging (Prof. Hilde Bosmans) and ethical analysis of emerging technologies in biomedical sciences (Prof. Pascal Borry). Prof. Pascal Borry will also take up the role as lead of WP 5 ‘Ethical aspects and challenges of AI based clinical tools’.


Pascal Borry

Pascal Borry is full professor of bioethics at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law (University of Leuven, Belgium). His main research activities are concentrated on the ethical, legal and social implications of innovative technologies. He published, among other issues, on topics such as direct-to-consumer genetic testing, public health genomics, biobanking, research on human tissue, genetic testing, preconceptional screening and neonatal screening, and sport ethics. He has published more than 200 publications in international peer reviewed journals. He is the programme director of the Master of Bioethics and teaches medical ethics to medical students. He is a member of the Research Ethics Committee of UZ/KU Leuven (2018-2021, 2022-2025). He was a member of the Ethics Expert Group of the World Anti-Doping Agency (2016-2020) and is currently a member of the WADA Independent Ethics Board (2022-2025). Since 2020, he is chair of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care of the University of Leuven.

Hilde Bosmans

Hilde Bosmans is medical physics expert for the department of radiology in the University Hospital Leuven. With her team she ensures the compliance with the Belgian radiation protection legislation for x-ray imaging. The team aims for optimal x-ray, CT and MRI image quality. Hilde’s responsibilities include several regional hospitals and a breast cancer screening network with around 100 mammography units. Quality Assurance is maximally quantitative and automated, with co-development of software tools by the spinoff company Qaelum.

Hilde Bosmans is currently a full professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Physics at KU Leuven. She is actively involved in (European) research projects and works at present with 11 PhD students and more than 10 master thesis students. She achieved an h-index of 61 (Google scholar) and 51 (Scopus). She has co-authored 268 publications (source: pubmed). Focus is on patient dosimetry, the development of Quality Assurance protocols and guidelines for the better use of (emerging) x-ray devices, new approaches in task based testing and ultimately virtual imaging trials to predict optimal working points without radiation burden. Efforts go also into the safe introduction of Artificial Intelligence tools and the development of new applications in line with the MDR regulation.

Chantal Van Ongeval

Prof. dr. Chantal Van Ongeval is a breast radiologist, clinical head of the breast imaging division and of the Multidisciplinary Breast Centre, head of the Department of Radiology at the University Hospitals and lecturer at the University of Leuven. She studied at the KU Leuven, with special training in spectroscopy, MR and mammography and received her Ph.D on the subject of ‘Performance and Optimization of clinical digital mammography’.

Prof. Van Ongeval is part of the Leuven University Centre of Cancer prevention (LUCK) as a specialist/advisor in the Flemish organization of Breast Cancer Screening. She is involved in the performance follow-up of breast cancer screening radiologists in Flanders. She is involved in the evaluation of image quality of mammograms at a European Level (EUREF). She participates in research programs and gives clinical advice to physicists and engineers of the Leuven University Centre for Medical Physics in Radiology (LUCFMR), on the development of new tests on digital mammography and breast tomosynthesis.

Prof. Van Ongeval is a member of several national and international committees and boards engaged in research into the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer: BSR, ESR and EUSOBI, project manager quality assurance digital mammography and chair of the Core Committee.

Eva Van Steijvoort

Eva Van Steijvoort obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Midwifery (Artesis Hogeschool Antwerpen, 2012) and a Master’s degree in Health Education and Promotion (UGent, 2015). In 2022, she obtained her PhD at the Interfaculty Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Law (KU Leuven). Together with Prof. Dr. Pascal Borry (promotor) she conducted research on the ethical and practical challenges regarding the implementation of population-based preconception genetic carrier screening in Belgium. Eva currently holds a post-doctoral mandate at The Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Law (Department of Public Health & Primary Care, KU Leuven). Her current research mainly focuses on the ethical and social aspects of new developments in the field of reproductive & public health.

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