Team:UGent2 Belgium/Experts


Prof. Dr. Ir. Paul Van Der Meeren

Paul initiated the Particle and Interfacial Technology Group. His research is mainly related to the preparation, stabilisation and application of disperse systems, such as (multiple)emulsions, (nano)suspensions and liposomal dispersions.
In addition, he is currently the Director of the UGent Doctoral School of (Bioscience) Engineering and also the coordinator of internships for Master students in Bioscience Engineering.

Prof. Dr. Peter Vandamme

The Peter Vandamme group studies basic and applied aspects of microbial diversity in human, insect, environmental and food microbiology. The group reported more than 30 novel bacterial genera and more than 210 novel bacterial species, many of which are unusual infectious agents in humans and animals. For his contributions to prokaryotic taxonomy, P. Vandamme was given the WFCC Skerman Award for Microbial Taxonomy and the Bergey Award. The Peter Vandamme group has a pronounced interest in the microbiota of fermented food products. Recent research topics include cocoa, sourdough, beers of spontaneous fermentation, water kefir and kombucha.

Prof. Dr. Ir. John Van Camp

John Van Camp is responsible for education, research and services concerning nutritional value of foods and food products, and the relationship between nutrition and health of humans. His research activities are related to bio-active components in food and food derived products and nutrition epidemiology. John Van Camp obtained an MSc (1989) and PhD in Bio-Science Engineering (1996) at the Faculty of Bio-Science Engineering, Ghent University. He did a post-doc at the “Institut für Physiologie und Biochemie der Ernährung” in Kiel, Germany (1997). Afterwards he became nutritionist associated to “nutriFOODchem”, research group Food Chemistry and Human Nutrition at FBE-UGent.

Tom Van Damme

Tom Van Damme has recently joined Ghent University as a coach at the Expertise Centre “Durf Ondernemen” (Eng. Dare to venture) in order to take entrepreneurial students and researchers to a higher level. He likes to share his experience and is known as an excellent motivator and challenger, he thinks out of the box, has a large network and goes for a no-nonsense approach.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Tom Van De Wiele

Since 2015, Tom Van de Wiele is tenured as associate professor at the Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology from the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University. The core expertise of his research group is the creation and application of enabling in vitro technologies that mimic the host-microbe interphase with particular focus on mucosal microenvironments. Model systems such as M-SHIME (a mucosa containing dynamic gut model) can be used to generate mechanistic insight in host-microbe interactions and complement in vivo observations. Such dynamic human gut models allow the screening of a wide variety of candidate drugs, functional foods and/or feeds before a more narrow selection enters the stage of in vivo trials

Philippe Jacobs

Dr. Philippe Jacobs is an in-house European Patent Attorney of Tech Transfer UGent since May 2010. In addition, he lectured at the University of Antwerp from 2007 until 2018. Prior to joining UGent he was director within the IP firm 'De Clercq and Partners' and was a patent attorney within the tech transfer team of the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB). Prior to joining VIB, he was a patent counsel in the intellectual property department of Innogenetics, a Belgian biotech company active in healthcare. Dr. Jacobs holds a PhD in Immunology from McGill University, Canada. In addition, Dr. Jacobs has 4 years teaching experience in Rwanda and also holds a diploma in Tropical Medical Biology from the Institute for Tropical Medicine of Antwerp, a Master of Science degree in biological control from McGill University and a licentiate degree in botany from UGent.

Prof. Dr. Tom Desmet

Prof. Tom Desmet is one of the founders of the Centre for Synthetic Biology at Ghent University, where he is head of the Unit for Enzyme Engineering. He is particularly interested in the engineering of carbohydrate-active enzymes, to create improved or even totally new biocatalysts for the synthesis of rare sugars and derivatives. To identify hotspots for mutagenesis, both the structure (homology modelling, ligand docking) and the sequence (motifs, conservation, correlation) of a protein are first explored in silico. Libraries of enzyme variants are then created in vitro and screened for activity with a robotic platform. The overall goal is to enable the further exploration of carbohydrate diversity through bottom-up technology development.

Prof. Dr. Marie Joossens

Marie Joossens is a molecular microbiologist who began her career studying the specific differences in the composition of gut bacteria in Crohn's disease patients. After her PhD, she went to Paris to learn more about the functional impact of her findings in Professor Joël Doré's group. Upon her return, she started in the bioinformatics lab of Professor Jeroen Raes, where she set up an experimental lab in addition to the existing computational lab. She led and supervised various clinical projects and was one of the founders of the Flemish Gut Flora Project, an ambitious project in which data and samples from more than 3,600 Flemish people were collected and analysed. Since 2020 she has been a full-time assistant professor at Ghent University in the Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry. Her research focuses on human microbial ecosystems and their relationship to health and disease. Current projects revolve around faecal microbial transfer, impact of the oral microbiota on systemic health and ocular microbial communities among others.

Dr. Massimiliano Simons

Massimiliano Simons is a postdoctoral researcher at the department of philosophy and moral sciences at Ghent University. He defended his PhD on the philosophy of synthetic biology in 2019 at the KU Leuven. His work focuses on philosophical and ethical questions raised by contemporary life sciences such as synthetic biology and metagenomics, situating these novel disciplines in the broader history of 20th century biology and engineering.

Dr. Nathalie Michels

Nathalie Michels is a postdoctoral researcher at the department of Public Health and Primary Care at Gent University. With her background in biomedical medicine, she is interested in the link between psychosocial (stress, eating behaviour) and physiological (metabolic health) factors. Within the unit Public Health Nutrition, she has implemented her PhD in 2009-2013 on the longitudinal stress-obesity relation in children and underlying nutritional and physiological pathways. During her FWO postdoc, she continues exploring this stress-obesity relation by studying the role of chronic inflammation, gut microbiota, metabolomics and natural environment.​