Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven)

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven)

Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven

Team Leader

Gunnar Naulaers
Gunnar Naulaers

Prof. Gunnar Naulaers
Leader of Workpackage 07
Head of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Phone: +32 1843213
Fax: +32 16 343209

Project Members

Dr Liesbeth Thewissen
Phone: +3216343211
Fax: +3216343209

Dr Alexander Caicedo
Engineer, research fellow
Phone: +32 16 32 1067
Fax: +32 16 32 1970

Sabine van Huffel
Sabine van Huffel

Prof. Dr. Ir. Sabine van Huffel
Full professor in Biomedical Data Processing
Phone: +32 16 32 1703
Fax: +32 16 32 1970

Institute Presentation

The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is the Flemish offshoot of the oldest university in the Low Countries which was originally founded in 1425. With 35,347 students in 2008-2009, the K.U. Leuven is also the largest university in the Low Countries. The K.U. Leuven is a member of the Coimbra Group (a network of leading European universities) as well as of the LERU Group (League of European Research Universities).

The University Hospital Leuven is the biggest hospital in Belgium with 1894 beds and more than 8000 people working in the hospital. The delivery ward has 2500 deliveries per year. The neonatal intensive care unit has 35 neonatal intensive care beds with 600-700 admissions per year and 120 patients with very low birth weight (<1500 gram) per year. In the neonatal intensive care unit NIRS research is performed since 1990 (Prof Casaer) in close collaboration with the Biomedical Data Processing (BioMed) group from the department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT ) headed by Prof. S. Van Huffel. NIRS research by Gunnar Naulaers started in 1999 and led to a PhD thesis in 2003 and further work was performed by Geert Morren from ESAT (PhD thesis 2005) and by Joke Vanderhaegen leading to a PhD thesis in 2009. This work generated 15 international peer reviewed articles and it established a very good collaboration with the neonatal intensive care unit of Utrecht (Frank Van Bel and Petra Lemmers). At this moment Alexander Caicedo from ESAT is performing further studies regarding autoregulation in which he uses signals of Leuven, Utrecht, Dublin, Melbourne and Zurich.

Prof Karel Allegaert, MD PhD is a neonatologist working in UZ Leuven. He has an expertise in perinatal pharmacology with special interest in the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics in neonates. He works half time as clinical neonatologist and half time as a clinical investigator of the Research Foundation Flanders. His PhD was titled: Neonatal analgesia: towards an integrated approach. He published more than 50 articles regarding perinatal pharmacology. Recently new research was started, where near-infrared spectroscopy is used as one of the tools to measure the pharmacodynamics.

S. Van Huffel heads the BIOMED team within ESAT (5 postdocs, 16 PhD students) with special focus on the development of numerically reliable and robust algorithms for improving medical diagnostics. Relevant applications under study are: quantification of brain oxygenation in neonates using (functional) Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, quantification of cardiovascular dynamics and auto-regulation, heart-rate variability, detection of somato-sensory evoked potentials in EEG, and prediction/detection of epileptic seizures in adults, children and neonates based on scalp-EEG monitoring.