Dienst Moleculaire Parasitologie

!!Postal address
Nationalestraat 155
2000
Antwerp
België
Contact

Telefoon: +32(0)32470794

    Expertisedomeinen

  • B220-genetica
  • B235-protozoölogie
  • B240-parasitologie-van-mens-en-dier
  • B110-bioinformatica
  • B100-algemene-evolutieleer

Onderzoeksexpertise

I am a post-doctoral researcher specialized in parasite genetics at the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine. I’m currently working in two units, namely the Unit of Molecular Parasitology led by Prof. JC Dujardin and the Unit of Veterinary Protozoology led by Prof. J. Van Den Abbeele.

I am particularly interested in understanding how pathogens evolve in nature, addressing questions such as: how do parasites become drug-resistant? Which genes are involved? What is the role of parasite sex in spreading those genes in natural populations? Answering these questions with genomic data could provide new hope in controlling or even eliminating diseases.

While HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis merit considerable scientific attention, it is important not to overlook those tropical diseases that plague the world’s developing countries. My research focuses on three such diseases that have devastating worldwide consequences for both human and animal health, namely (Muco-)cutaneous leishmaniasis or espundiaAnimal African Trypanosomiasis or nagana and Human Schistosomiasis.

The roots of my fascination with the tropics can be traced to my early childhood in Africa, where I spent six years in the northern equatorial rainforest of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). My interest in tropical diseases was sparked by the 1995 Ebola outbreak in Kikwit (DRC) because of its mysterious appearance and because it occurred in a country where I spent several formative years. From that moment onwards I have always wanted to work on infectious diseases. This aspiration became more concrete during my Biology studies at the University of Leuven, where I became particularly interested in bridging evolutionary genetics and disease control.

For regular updates on scripts or programs to analyze genetic data of pathogens, please visit my blogsite https://frebio.github.io

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