Prof. Pierre van Damme
Prof. Pierre Van Damme is president of the recently established Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute (VAXINFECTIO), a close collaboration of three research units of the faculty of Medicine: the Laboratory of Medical Microbiology (LMM), the Laboratory of Experimental Hematology (LEH), and the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination (CEV). It is formally recognized as ‘Centre of Excellence’ of the University of Antwerp with Methusalem funding.
CEV was founded in 1994 by its present director Prof. Pierre Van Damme . The centre conducts research in four main areas: (1) (sero-)epidemiology of infectious diseases; (2) economic evaluation of public health interventions; (3) protective vaccine efficacy and effectiveness of vaccine studies; and (4) kinetics of vaccine-induced antibodies. The centre has published widely (more than 200 peer reviewed papers) on all four topics combining state of the art techniques in surveillance, mathematical modeling, applied economic analysis and clinical trials. The Centre has coordinated several European Commission funded research projects and has been Collaborating Centre of the World Health Organization (WHO EURO-region) for over 10 years, one of the few in Belgium and the only one at the UA. The Centre operates under the patronage of her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde. Prof. Van Damme has become one of the key researchers in the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases and has been involved as the principal investigator in more than 160 vaccine trials. Among his research interests are the conduct of vaccine trials, the evaluation of preventative strategies in infectious disease management and introduction of new vaccines in existing programmes. Prof. Van Damme has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and is on the editorial boards of several scientific journals that focus on the study of vaccines and vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. He has been for more than 10 years a regular advisor for national and international organisations, including the Flemish Vaccination platform, the National Health Council, the World Health Organization (European office and Headquarters), and the ECDC. He is Executive Secretary of the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board (VHPB), an independent international multidisciplinary group of leading experts on viral hepatitis prevention and control. He has been appointed as chairman of the European WHO Experts group on communicable diseases and vaccines (ETAGE).