Neglected Tropical Diseases

Postal address
Nationalestraat 155
Phone: +32(0)32470807

Research expertise

Wim Adriaensen (MSc 2010, double PhD 2015) is a post-doctoral clinical immunologist at the Unit of Neglected Tropical Diseases in the Department of Clinical Sciences (Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium). He was trained in immunology and medical research during his double-PhD in medical sciences and public health (Academic Centre for General Practice, KULeuven and Institute of Health and Society, UCLouvain, Belgium) on the clinical impact of the aging of the immune system and its complex relationship with cytomegalovirus for patient and vaccination outcomes in octogenarians in Belgium; that he performed partly as a visiting scientist at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He started at ITM as a clinical trial scientist (Clinical Trial Unit, ITM) to gain more affinity with clinical trials and project management on several infectious diseases in low-resource settings. In 2016, he founded a clinical immunology research line within the unit of neglected tropical diseases at ITM with a particular dedication on human cellular immunity and its translation to bench side diagnostic and therapeutic applications, which he still leads to date. After building expertise in visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and establishing a strong network of relevant research, patient and drug development organizations, he acquired a competitive post-doctoral fellowship (Research Foundation Flanders) on the synergistic impact of HIV co-infection on T-cell suppression in VL-HIV patients. Besides establishing single cell and spatial transcriptomic pipelines at ITM, his research is focussed on the development of alternative host-based test-of-cure assays and predictive biomarkers for patient/treatment outcomes. Simulatenously, he strongly invested in capacity building programs in Ethiopia with the University of Gondar, which resulted in 2 well-equipped research labs and fruitful collaborations. In recent years, the research line was successfully expanded to cutaneous leishmaniasis and recently to rabies and SARS-CoV-2. Currently, he is coordinating most of the immunological research conducted at ITM and has successfully obtained 2,5 million euro as principal investigator from diverse funding sources. He has set-up or assisted in over 15 clinical trials and prospective cohort studies to date. 

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