Alain Vanderplasschen


Meet Alain Vanderplasschen

Alain Vanderplasschen is Professor of Virology and Vaccinology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the ULiège. He is Doctor in Veterinary Medicine (University of Liège (ULiège), 1991). After a PhD thesis (ULiège, 1995) under the supervision of Prof. P.-P. Pastoret on Bovine herpesvirus 4, he did a second thesis in 1998 (“thèse d’agrégation”) at the University of Oxford (UK) in the laboratory of Prof. G.L. Smith on vaccinia virus (the virus used as vaccine against smallpox virus). In 1998, he became the first veterinarian scientist to obtain a permanent position in the history of the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS). In 2007, he left the FNRS to become professor of Immunlogy-Vaccinology at the ULiège.

Prof. Vanderplasschen has a strong background and successful track record as a veterinarian virologist and immunologist. For nearly three decades, he has been studying host-virus interactions with three special interests: (i) understanding virus evolution, (ii) development of new veterinary vaccines and infectious disease mitigation approaches, and (iii) unraveling the mechanisms developed by viruses to evade the immune response of their host. Over the last ten years he has continuously demonstrated an ability to develop, in parallel, both fundamental and applied research in the field of fish virology and immunology. Furthermore, he is the laureate of several prestigious awards. Notably, in 2016, he became the first veterinarian scientist to obtain the prestigious GSK vaccines award (created in 1959) for his work: The infection of carp by Cyprinid Herpesvirus 3: a homologous host-virus model to study vaccinology and fundamental immunology. Other examples of the recent awards received in virology are the Francqui-Stichting Chair award in 2019 (University Catholique de Louvain) and the Collen-Francqui Chair award in 2021 (University of Ghent). Alain Vanderplasschen is also member of different scientific societies including the American Society of Microbiology, the American association for the Advancement of Science, the Belgian Immunology Society and the Belgian Society of Virology (being one of the three founding members). Of note, Alain Vanderplasschen was elected member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium in 2014 and recognized as defacto diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Microbiology in 2021.

Scientific Advisory Committee

SAC chair

Peter Piot

Peter Piot is the Handa Professor of Global Health and former Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medi...
SAC member

Philippe Desmeth

Philippe Desmeth is bioengineer and environmental consultant by training. He is a member of several International Scientif...
SAC member

Isabel Leroux-Roels

Isabel Leroux-Roels is working as a clinical microbiologist and infection control physician at Ghent University Hospital (...
SAC member

Thomas Michiels

Professor Thomas Michiels is full professor at UCL, Belgium (teaching general microbiology, molecular biology, and virolog...
SAC member

Helga Rübsamen-Schaeff

Professor Rübsamen-Schaeff was the founder and the CEO of AiCuris, a German Biopharma company dedicated to the research an...
SAC member

Steven Van Gucht

Steven Van Gucht holds a PhD in Veterinary Sciences (virology). He started his career at Sciensano in December 2005 as a S...