Ghent University Launches High-Throughput Experimentation Centre Ghent for Innovative Pharmaceutical Research

(08-05-2024) Ghent, Belgium - May 8, 2024 - Ghent University, in collaboration with Johnson & Johnson and the City of Ghent, announces the establishment of Belgium's first academic high-throughput experimentation laboratory, the HighTru Lab.

“Crucial in the development of new chemical methodology, the next-generation medication and it offers the opportunity to train the engineers and biomedical professionals of tomorrow”, says Professor Christian Stevens.

High-Throughput Experimentation (HTE) is a method where a large number of experiments are conducted simultaneously using automated equipment and robotics. It is now being introduced in chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences to quickly collect and analyze large amounts of data. HTE utilizes miniaturization to save space and materials and advanced data management systems to handle the vast amounts of data generated. For example, it is now already used in the industry to rapidly screen compounds for biological activity. Due to automation and fast processing of experiments, HTE is cost-effective and accelerates innovation.


The new laboratory is currently located in the CAPTURE building on Eiland Zwijnaarde and will move by the end of 2026 to the nearby Nucleus building, currently under construction, in which CESPE (Center of Excellence in Sustainable Pharmaceutical Engineering and Manufacturing) will be located.

Multidisciplinary Effort and Educational Impact

HighTru Lab exemplifies the multidisciplinary approach of Ghent University, involving four faculties — Bioscience Engineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Engineering and Architecture, and Sciences — working together. This initiative will not only serve the academic community, but also provide training opportunities for the chemical and pharmaceutical sector, thereby contributing to the economic strengthening of Europe.


"With the establishment of HighTru Lab, we reinforce our position as an innovation leader in the region and in the sector," states Professor Christian Stevens, (Research group “Synthesis, Bioresources, and Bioorganic Chemistry” group at Ghent University). This lab will be crucial in the development of innovative chemistry, the next-generation medication and offers the opportunity to train our students to become the engineers and biomedical professionals of tomorrow."

Collaboration and Societal Impact

This opportunity is enhanced by an educational grant from Johnson & Johnson, making HighTru Lab a unique knowledge center within Flanders.


The Lab has also received a considerable funding from the European Union's Resilience Fund, and an additional fund from the City of Ghent's ‘Speerpuntenfonds’. " With the ‘Speerpuntenfonds’, we as a government invest in large, ambitious projects in the technology sector. These investments are crucial for the further economic development of Ghent and demonstrate our commitment to supporting high-tech innovations," says Sofie Bracke, Ghent's Alderman for Economy.

The City of Ghent actively supports this project as part of its commitment to sustainability and the healthcare sector, recognizing the importance of Ghent as a leading biotechnological and medicinal hub in Europe.


About the Partners

Ghent University is a leading educational and research institution in Belgium, known for its innovative approaches in science and technology. Johnson & Johnson is a global leader in healthcare, focusing on the production of medicines and facilitating the access to efficient medication. The City of Ghent is committed to promoting local and regional economic development through education and innovation.


For more information about HighTru Lab and the event on May 8, please visit:

Contact Information:


Prof. Dr. ir. Christian Stevens

+329 264 59 57

+32497 29 26 72